Submitted to: Transactions of the ASAE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2004
Publication Date: 12/1/2005
Citation: Mizrach, A., Hetzroni, A., Mazor, M., Mankin, R.W., Ignat, T., Grinshpun, J., Epsky, N.D., Shuman, D., Heath, R.R. 2005. Acoustic trap for female Mediterranean fruit flies. Transactions of the ASAE. 48:2017-2022. Interpretive Summary: Medflies are important pests worldwide. There is a constant threat that medflies may enter the U.S. undetected and establish populations that would be difficult to eradicate. In other countries, medflies are already established and improved traps are needed for monitoring programs. Methods are under development by USDA, ARS scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, FL, and the Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel to improve the ability of quarantine officials to detect small infestations and selectively trap females that could rapidly expand populations. This report describes initial experiments to test female-selective acoustic traps in different types of bioassay to establish whether they would be useful detection tools in field environments in Israel. The traps were effective over 5-10 ft distances. Efforts are in progress to optimize the trap and improve the percentages of nearby female medflies that are captured.
Technical Abstract: Medflies are among the world's most economically harmful pests, and worldwide monitoring and control efforts are extremely expensive (about $800 million per year in Israel and the US alone). Efficient traps are vitally important tools for medfly quarantine and pest management activities; they are needed for control as well as early detection, for predicting dispersal patterns and for estimating medfly abundance within infested regions. Efficient tools to attract and catch the primary target, reproductively viable females, are still in great need. The present research aimed to evaluate the attractiveness of male song and synthetic sounds to mate-seeking female medflies, as a contribution to the design and testing of traps based on acoustic lures. The courtship behavior of female medflies in the presence and absence of calling male flies was observed, in order to evaluate the adequacy of the experimental setup. Male medfly calling song and synthetic tones were played at various intensities to laboratory-reared and wild female medflies during the morning and early afternoon periods of peak sexual activity. It was found that, in most bioassay experiments in which sounds were played to laboratory and wild flies, the female flies were attracted to sites near speakers more than to sites without sound. This study indicates that there is a possibility of using sound to enhance the attractiveness of acoustic traps to mate-seeking female medflies.