Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/2/2003
Publication Date: 11/2/2004
Citation: Aluja, M., Rull, J., Sivinski, J., Fleischer, F., Norrbom, A.L., Wharton, R.A., Lopez, M., Ordonez, R. 2004. Fruit flies of the genus anastrepha (diptera: tephritidae) and associated native parasitoids (hymenoptera) in the tropical rainforest biosphere reserve of montes azules, chiapas, mexico. Environmental Entomology. 32:1377-1385
Interpretive Summary: More than 100 of the 4,000+ species of fruit flies in the world are pests of commercial fruits and vegetables, including citrus, mango, apples, and many others. Most of the pests are native to tropical countries and are a major threat to U.S. agriculture if introduced. Much less is known about the foreign pests than about those native to the U.S. This publication provides new information about the host plants and parasitic wasps of species of the main pest group of fruit flies in tropical America. These species were studied in a natural forest in southern Mexico to gain an understanding of their interactions under natural conditions. Such information may help to understand their behavior in agroecosystems and lead to the use of native parasitic wasps for suppression of the pest fly populations. This information may be useful to regulatory agencies such as APHIS-PPQ or to ARS or other agencies involved in control or suppresion of pest species.
Technical Abstract: We report the results of a two-year survey that determined the host plant and parasitoid associations of Anastrepha fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) in the ¿Montes Azules¿ tropical rainforest biosphere reserve (State of Chiapas, Mexico). We collected a total of 57.20 kg of fruit representing 49 native species from 25 plant families. Of these, 14 plant species from 9 plant families were found to be native hosts of Anastrepha bahiensis, A. coronilli, A. fraterculus, A. obliqua, A. zuelaniae (all belonging to the fraterculus species group), A. cordata (cordata group), A. crebra (mucronota group), A. serpentina and A. striata (serpentina group). Anastrepha coronilli is reported for the first time in Mexico. Infestation levels were variable and ranged between 0 to 1650 larvae per kilogram of fruit depending on host species. The following Anastrepha host-associations were observed: Bellucia pentamera (Melastomataceae) with A. coronilli; Malmea gaumeri (Annonaceae) with A. bahiensis; Tabernamontana alba (Apocynaceae) with A. cordata; Quararibea yunqueri (Bombacaceae) with A. crebra; Ampelocera hottlei (Ulmaceae) with A. obliqua and A. fraterculus; Zuelania guidonia and Caesaria tremula (Flacourtaceae) with A. zuelaniae; Psidium sartorianum (Myrtaceae) with A. fraterculus; Psidium guajava and P. sartorianum (Myrtaceae) with A. striata; Manilkara zapota, Pouteria sp., Bumelia sebolana and Calocarpum mammosum (Sapotaceae) with A. serpentina. The following are new host plant records: Malmea gaumeri for A. bahiensis; Quararibea yunqueri for A. crebra; Ampelocera hottlei for A. fraterculus and A. obliqua; Bumelia sebolana for A. serpentina and Caesaria tremula for A. zuelaniae. Larvae of 8 species of Anastrepha on 9 plant species from 6 plant families were found to be parasitized by Doryctobracon areolatus, D. crawfordi, D. zeteki (new report for Mexico and northernmost record for the species), Opius hirtus, Utetes anastrephae (all Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and Aganaspis pelleranoi (Hymenoptera: Figitidae). Percent parasitism ranged from 0 to 76.5 %. We discuss our findings in light of their practical (e.g., biological control) and theoretical (e.g., species radiation) implications and highlight the importance of these types of studies given the rampant deforestation of tropical forests in Latin America and the risk of extinction of rare fruit fly species that could shed light on the evolution of host plant and parasitoid associations within the genus Anastrepha.