Submitted to: Bulletin of Entomological Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/10/2000
Publication Date: 12/1/2000
Interpretive Summary: While a number of parasitoids have been introduced around the world to attack exotic populations of Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly), none of them originated from medfly. This was historically due to the poor transportation and communications in native range of the medfly, east Africa, that made both collecting and the shipment of promising parasitoids sdifficult. In cooperation with the Universities of Hawaii and Texas A&M, and the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (Kenya), USDA-ARS scientists participated in explorations for new medfly biological control agents in the Kenyan highlands. Several species of parasitoids were found attacking medfly in coffee and these have been sent to a recently constructed quarantine facility in Guatemala. Among them are particularly interesting species that parasitize the vulnerable eggs and hatchlings of the medfly located near the surface of fruit. It is hoped that with the financial assistance of USDA-APHIS African explorations can be continued and expanded.
Technical Abstract: Arabica coffee was sampled from two sites in the central highlands of Kenya (Rurima, Ruiru) and one site on the western side of the Rift Valley (Koru). Three species of ceratitidine Tephritidae, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), C. rosa Karsch and Trirhithrum coffeae Bezzi, were reared from sites in the central highlands, and an additional species, C. anonae Graham, was recovered from the western-most site. Ten species of parasitic Hymenoptera were reared from these tephritids. The parasitoid assemblage was dominated by koinobionts. Eight of the species are koinobiont endoparasitoids, but only one idiobiont larval ectoparasitoid was reared, and only one idiobiont pupal endoparasitoid. The effects of sampling bias on determination of parasitoid assemblage size associated with concealed hosts are discussed. The potential for use of these parasitoids in biological control is also discussed. Most of the parasitoid species recovered during this study are capable of developing on C. capitata, while several also attack C. rosa. Both flies are notorious pests of tropical and subtropical fruits.