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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DETECTION, CONTROL AND AREA-WIDE MANAGEMENT OF FRUIT FLIES

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

Title: Population Biology and Prospects for Suppression of the Solanaceous Fruit Fly, Bactocera Latifrons (Diptera: Tephritidae).

Authors
item McQuate, Grant
item Bokonon-Ganta, A - UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII-MANO
item Peck, S - BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Hawaiian Entomological Society Proceedings
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 26, 2005
Publication Date: December 31, 2007
Citation: Mcquate, G.T., Bokonon-Ganta, A.H., Peck, S.L. 2007. Population biology and prospects for suppression of the solanaceous fruit fly, bactocera latifrons (diptera: tephritidae).. Hawaiian Entomological Society Proceedings.

Interpretive Summary: Bactrocera latifrons (Hendel), primarily a pest of fruits of solanaceous plants, is the most recently introduced exotic tephritid fruit fly species of economic importance in Hawaii, being first detected in 1983. With its relatively recent invasion, less is known about this species than the 3 other established exotic tephtritid fruit fly species in Hawaii. Knowledge of background biology and ecology is necessary for the development of suppression strategies for this species, but acquiring this background data has been difficult because B. latifrons typically has low population densities. Higher population levels, however, have been found in areas having turkeyberry (Solanum torvum Sw) patches. These areas provide good study environments for B. latifrons and also provide a good model system of the potential pest status of B. latifrons in continuously cultivated solanaceous crops such as peppers (Capsicum spp.) and tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). In a study on the population levels of B. latifrons as they relate to turkeyberry phenology in the vicinity of Haiku, Maui, we found that B. latifrons has population cycles determined by host plant fruiting cycles as seen in other tephritid fruit fly species. Peak pupal recovery occurred two weeks after the ripe turkeyberry fruit peak. Adult B. latifrons population levels then peaked in late August, four weeks after the pupal recovery peak. Knowledge of population cycles can help in the planning of suppression programs. At present, sterile insect technique (SIT), bait sprays, and destruction of weedy hosts seem to have the greatest potential for suppression of B. latifrons populations, but further research is needed on the effectiveness of these techniques.

Technical Abstract: Bactrocera latifrons (Hendel), a tephritid fruit fly first detected in Hawaii in 1983, primarily infests fruits of solanaceous plants. One area not yet sufficiently understood is the population ecology of this species. In general, it has been observed to maintain relatively low population densities, though higher population levels have been found in areas having turkeyberry (Solanum torvum Sw) patches. Because sequential flowering in turkeyberry can lead to a steady production of fruits, areas with abundant patches of turkeyberry also provide a good model system of the potential pest status of B. latifrons in continuously cultivated solanaceous crops such as peppers (Capsicum spp.) and tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.). Here we report on the population levels of B. latifrons as they relate to turkeyberry phenology in the vicinity of Haiku, Maui. Turkeyberry plants went from a near absence of flowering in January to heavy flowering in early March. Turkeyberry fruits reached the ripe stage an average of 16 weeks from the fully open flower stage. Ripe fruits, almost absent in January – February, became abundant by June, and peaked in mid-July, 18 weeks after the first heavy flowering period. Peak pupal recovery occurred two weeks after the ripe turkeyberry fruit peak. Average adult B. latifrons catch, in traps baited with the male lure (alpha-ionol + cade oil), peaked in late August, four weeks after the pupal recovery peak. The observed timings of pupal and adult peaks are consistent with known B. latifrons development times. These results document that B. latifrons has population cycles determined by host plant fruiting cycles as seen in other tephritid fruit fly species. Knowledge of population cycles can help in the planning of suppression programs. At present, sterile insect technique (SIT), bait sprays, and destruction of weedy hosts seem to have the greatest potential for suppression of B. latifrons populations, but further research is needed on the effectiveness of these techniques.

Last Modified: 4/15/2014
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