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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Chemical Biology of Insect and Plant Signaling Systems

Location: Chemistry Research Unit

Title: Evidence for potential of managing some african fruit fly species (Diptera: Tephritidae) using the mango fruit fly host-marking pheromone

Authors
item Kachigamba, Donald -
item Ekesi, Sunday -
item Ndung'u, Mary -
item Gitonga, Linus -
item Teal, Peter
item Torto, Baldwyn -

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: August 28, 2012
Publication Date: December 1, 2012
Citation: Kachigamba, D.L., Ekesi, S., Ndung'U, M.W., Gitonga, L.M., Teal, P.E., Torto, B. 2012. Evidence for potential of managing some african fruit fly species (Diptera: Tephritidae) using the mango fruit fly host-marking pheromone. Journal of Economic Entomology. 105(6):2068-2075.

Interpretive Summary: Tephritid fruit flies like the Mediterranean fruit fly are among the most invasive and destructive pests of fruits and vegetables world wide. Because of the destruction caused and the highly invasive nature these pests under quarantine restrictions world wide. Control of the pests is extremely difficult because larvae feed within fruit making them difficult to control with traditional pesticide applications. As an alternative approach scientists at the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology, Nairobi, Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta Unoversity in Nairobi Kenya and the Center for Medical Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, USDA-ARS in Gainesville Florida have been exploring the possibility of control of these pests using naturally produced chemicals, pheromones, to inhibit the flies from laying eggs on fruit. They discovered that females of the most destructive pest of mango, Ceratitis cosyra ,were strongly inhibited from laying eggs on Mango that had oviposition deterring pheromones deposited by females of it’s own species but also by other related species like the Mediterranean fruit fly. This study is the first step in identifying the oviposition deterring pheromone and paves the way for development of novel control programs using the pheromone to inhibit females from laying eggs.

Technical Abstract: We investigated conspecific and heterospecific oviposition host discrimination among four economically important fruit fly pests of mango in Africa (Ceratitis capitata, Wiedemann; C. fasciventris, Bezzi; C. rosa, Karsch, and C. cosyra, Walker) with regard to host-marking behavior and fecal matter aqueous solutions. The objective of the study was to get insight into the potential of managing these pests using the host-marking technique. Observations were done on mango slices marked by the flies and treated with aqueous solutions of fecal matter of the flies, respectively. In both host-marking and fecal matter experiments, C. cosyra, which is the most destructive species of the four on mango, was exceptional. It only discriminated against hosts treated with its fecal matter but with lower sensitivity while C. capitata and C. fasciventris discriminated against hosts marked by it or treated with its fecal matter and with higher sensitivity. Our results provide evidence for potential of managing some of the major fruit fly species infesting mango in Africa using the host-marking pheromone of the mango fruit fly, C. cosyra.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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