Submitted to: Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/5/2000
Publication Date: 10/17/2000
Interpretive Summary: Tephritid fruit flies attack scores of species of fruits and vegetables around the world. In addition to direct damage, they are often responsible for the erection of quarantines that restrict the development of agricultural exports. In tropical and subtropical America the most important pests belong to the genus Anastrepha. Determining the host fruits in which both pest and non-pest species of Anastrepha develop is important to deciding which fruits pose dangers to importing countries and which may be safely exported. Extensive fruit collections, made over a period of nine years by USDA scientists and their collaborators in southern Mexico, have added substantially to knowledge of host fruit relationships and the geographical distributions of 20 Anastrepha species. Additional uses for this information, including improved trapping, are being investigated.
Technical Abstract: We report the results of a nine-year study (1990-1998), aimed at determining the distribution of fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) and identify their host plants in Veracruz, Mexico. For this, we placed McPhail traps in one citrus and three mango orchards and sampled wild and cultivated fruits in 42 localities throughout the State. In the McPhail traps we captured 20 Anastrepha (alveata, bahiensis, bicolor, canalis, chiclayae, cordata, dentata, distincta, fraterculus, hamata, leptozona, limae, ludens, obliqua, pallens, robusta, serpentina, spatulata, striata, and zuelanie), one Toxotrypana (curvicauda) and several unidentified Hexachaeta species. Of the latter, A. canalis represents a new report for Mexico, and A. bicolor, A. limae, A. dentata, and A. canalis are new reports for Veracruz. Out of a total of 51 species of native, wild plants and exotic, cultivated plants collected in Veracruz, Mexico (representing 3,736 kg of fruit), 34 were infested by 13 Anastrepha species, 4 plants were infested by 4 Rhagoletis species, 2 plants were infested by Toxotrypana curvicauda, and one by an undescribed Hexachaeta species. Our observations include new host plant records for Anastrepha hamata (larvae only feed on seeds of 2 fruit species), A. bahiensis, A. chiclavae, A. fraterculus, A. obliqua, T. curvicauda. Rhagoletis zoqui, R. sp. and Hexachaeta sp. We present host plant data based on size of fruit and degree of infestation, provide information on local names and fruiting phenology, and discuss our findings in light of their practical implications and with respect to the zoogeography of Mexican fruit flies.