Mexican fruit fly. Click image for additional photo
Lure Beckons Anastrepha Fruit Flies
August 22, 2003
An Agricultural Research Service scientist and
cooperators are developing a new lure that could increase the capture of
Anastrepha fruit flies that attack a variety of citrus and other crops in
North and South America.
The lure was developed jointly by researchers at ARS'
Kika de la Garza Subtropical
Agricultural Research Center in Weslaco, Texas, and at
IPM Tech Inc. of Portland, Ore. It has
surpassed expectations, both for attractiveness and longevity in the field.
When used on sticky, yellow-panel traps in grapefruit orchards in South Texas,
IPM Tech lures were five times as effective as two-component lures in
controlling Mexican fruit flies (A. ludens).
Anastrepha fruit fly species are a serious pest in many regions from
northern South America to northern Mexico, penetrating into southern Texas.
California, Arizona and Florida are especially vulnerable. The flies attack a
variety of citrus, including grapefruit and oranges, as well as pears, peaches
and apples. This new synthetic lure may be a promising basis for mass trapping
or use at bait stations or kill stations to control Anastrepha species.
When tested on sticky bottle traps, the IPM Tech lures were 20 times as
effective as standard ammonium phosphate McPhail traps for capturing South
American fruit flies (A. fraterculus). In those tests, they remained
effective for up to 16 weeks.
ARS entomologist David C. Robacker of the Crop Quality and Fruit Insects Research
Unit in Weslaco works with a team of researchers located at IPM Tech;
the Topara Fruit Tree Nursery in Topara Valley, Peru; Catholic University
in Quito, Ecuador; the Institute
of Ecology in Xalapa, Mexico; and several universities in the United
IPM Tech's lure shows great promise as a tool for detecting and monitoring
Anastrepha species. Future research will determine if the lure
will work in wet traps, in other geographical areas and for other species
of fruit flies.
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's primary scientific research agency.