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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Vargas, Roger
item Miller, Neil
item Prokopy, Ronald

Submitted to: Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2002
Publication Date: 3/1/2002
Citation: Vargas, R.I., Miller, N.W., Prokopy, R.J. 2002. Attraction and feeding responses of mediterranean fruit fly and a natural enemy to protein bait laced with two novel toxins, phloxine b and spinosad. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 102(3):273-282

Interpretive Summary: Fruit flies are among the most economically important pests attacking soft fruits worldwide. One of the most costly species is the Mediterranean fruit fly. Its host range includes more than 350 species of fruits and vegetables and costs to exclude it from areas such as California have totaled almost $500 million during the past 25 years. Two new environmentally friendly insecticides, spinosad and phloxine B may soon become accepted alternatives to the malathion sprays currently being used to fight this Mediterranean fruit fly and its relatives. We tested the Mediterranean fruit fly's attraction and feeding responses to numerous protein baits both with and without these pesticides. We also tested the feeding response of the wasp, Fopius arisanus, the most important natural enemy of Mediterranean and oriental fruit fly in Hawaii. We found that the type of protein bait had a major influence on fly attraction and feeding. The flies were most attracted to Provesta 621, while they fed the most on the USB protein. Mediterranean fruit fly was not attracted to aged baits, indicating that aerial applications of baits should be done on a frequent basis. The natural enemy would not feed on the protein baits suggesting that baits would have minimal direct impact on wild populations. This research offers potential for Areawide management of Mediterranean and oriental fruit fly that includes biological control and integration with more environmentally safe chemicals.

Technical Abstract: Field cage studies were conducted to determine attraction and feeding propensity of Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), to different protein bait mixtures with and without the insecticides malathion, spinosad and phloxine B. The type of protein (USB yeast hydrolysate enzymatic, Mazoferm, Nu-Lure, or Provesta 621 autolyzed yeast extract) in the bait had a major influence on C. capitata attraction, which was strongest to fresh Provesta. Aged baits (4 day-old) were ineffective. In feeding propensity studies, highest response was observed for USB protein. On the basis of attraction and feeding responses Provesta (attraction and feeding), Mazoferm (feeding), and USB (feeding) outperformed the standard Nu-Lure. A mixture of Provesta and malathion repelled fruit flies, compared to mixture of Provesta and spinosad or phloxine B. Our studies suggest that protein-starved flies were much more likely to feed on protein compared to protein-fed flies. The wasp Fopius arisanus (Sonan), one of C. capitata's primary natural enemies in Hawaii, would not consume protein baits. Findings are discussed in the context of integrating the malathion bait spray substitutes, spinosad or phloxine B, with natural enemies for integrated pest management of fruit flies and improved protein bait traps for early detection of fruit flies.

Last Modified: 07/26/2017
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