Lychees and Longans No Host for Carib FlyBy
Lychees and longans, tropical fruits gaining in popularity with consumers,
have become important crops in southern Florida. Now growers have even more to
celebrate than their crops' burgeoning commercial success:
Agricultural Research Service scientists
have found that neither fruit hosts the dreaded Caribbean fruit fly.
This key finding by scientists with the ARS
Horticulture Research Laboratory in Miami, Fla., means Florida lychee and
longan growers can ship their fruit throughout the United States--even to
California, which considered embargoing the fruit because it was thought to
harbor the Carib fly.
Working with the Tropical Fruit Growers of South Florida, Inc., the
scientists developed a fly-free protocol that California approved.
To develop this protocol, growers supplied 450 South Florida lychees
harvested from six groves. One-third of the fruit was held as a control, while
the remainder was exposed for a day to fertile female Carib flies. The lychees
were then held for 30 days so that any eggs laid inside the fruit could hatch.
The fruit remained fly-free. During the fruiting season, scientists also placed
fly traps in groves where lychees were picked and checked the traps each week.
Again, no flies.
Researchers saw the same results with longans and lychees from the
packinghouse. They even covered longans, lychees and guavas (in which the flies
lay eggs) on trees with pollination bags holding fertile flies. After 24 hours,
the flies had attacked the guavas, but not the longans or lychees.
The full story appears in the January Agricultural Research magazine
and is also available on the World Wide Web at:
Scientific contacts: Walter P. Gould, Raymond G. McGuire and
Jennifer L. Sharp, ARS
Horticulture Research Laboratory, Miami, FL 33158, phone (305) 238-9321, fax
(305) 238-9330, email@example.com.