Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/9/2004
Publication Date: 12/1/2004
Citation: Peck, S.L., Mcquate, G.T. 2004. Ecological aspects of bactrocera latifrons (diptera:tephritidae) on maui, hawaii: movement and host preference. Environmental Entomology 33: 1722-1731. Interpretive Summary: The solanaceous fruit fly, Bactrocera latifrons (Hendel), is the 4th, and most recent, tephritid fruit fly species of economic importance which has invaded the Hawaiian Islands. It was first detected in Hawaii in 1983 and has since spread throughout the island chain. This species attacks the fruit of solanaceous plants, including such cultivated crops as tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. To date, this fruit fly species has not yet invaded some other fruit growing areas of the world such as the U.S. mainland. Understanding how and when the flies move is of paramount importance if we are to understand its capability to invade other areas. However, the population dynamics of B. latifrons has rarely been studied either in its native range or in Hawaii. We conducted a mark-release-recapture study to assess the movement and dispersal characteristics of the fly and to assess the population size of the fly. Initially, the flies moved to patches that were within 100 m, then spread to a maximum of between 100 m and 200 m over the next three days. The flies did not move from this range during the rest of the study. These results suggest that B. latifrons has low movement in the presence of host and has dispersal rates similar to that seen in other tephritid fruit fly species. More studies, though, are needed to help understand the movement characteristics of these flies under different conditions, such as, in the presence or absence of host.
Technical Abstract: Bactrocera latifrons is a tephritid fruit fly that invaded the Hawaiian Islands in 1983 and has since spread throughout the island chain. Its invasion was facilitated by the invasion of two previous non-endemic species of solanaceous plants; Solanum torvum and Solanum linnaeanum. We followed wild populations of the fly on the island of Maui from May 1999 to September 1999. Laboratory experiments were used to assess the host preference of the fly. We conducted a mark-release-recapture study to assess the movement and dispersal characteristics of the fly and the population size. We found that the fly maintained a presence during the course of the study. The laboratory studies suggest the flies prefer ovipositing in S. linnaeanum to S. torvum, and that survival in S. linnaeanum is higher than in S. torvum. Distance of trop catches from the release site in the dispersal study did not exceed 200 m during the 6-week course of the study suggesting that dispersal rates are similar to other tephritid fruit fly species.