Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/6/2003
Publication Date: 12/1/2003
Citation: ALUJA, M., RULL, J., SIVINSKI, J.M., NORRBOM, A.L., WHARTON, R.A., MACIAS-ORDONEZ, R., DIAZ-FLEISCER, F., LOPEZ, M. FRUIT FLIES OF THE GENUS ANASTREPHA (DIPTERA: TEPHRITIDAE) AND ASSOCIATED NATIVE PARASITOIDS(HYMENOPTERA) IN THE TROPICAL RAINFOREST BIOSPHERE RESERVE OF MONTES AZULES, CHIAPAS, MEXICO. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENTOMOLOGY. 2003. v. 32. p. 1377-1385.
Interpretive Summary: Several species of fruit flies in the genus Anastrepha are important pests of tropical fruits such as citrus and guava. They have the potential to invade U.S.A. agriculture, one species did in fact did invade California in 2003, and could cause considerable economic damage if established. Biological control is one means of managing pest fruit fly populations and effective biocontrol depends upon a catalog of effective natural enemies and an understanding of their preferred environments. Scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in collaboration with colleagues from the Instituto de Ecologia (Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico) have collected parasitoids of fruit flies in different regions of Mexico in hopes of determining their tolerance to extremes of temperature and humidity and their capacity to locate the rare hosts typical of fly populations that have not yet grown to high and damaging levels. In the present survey, six species of parasitoids were recovered and numerous new host records were discovered. Comparisons of infestation rates and parasitism rates suggest that one parasitoid species in particular may be an effective "low-density" forager. Further surveys and laboratory experiments will provide the foundations for the biological control of these important pests.
Technical Abstract: We report the results of a two-year survey that determined some of 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 57.38 kg of fruit representing 47 native species from 23 plant families. Of these, 13 plant species from 8 plant families were found to be native hosts of 9 species of Anastrepha. The following Anastrepha host-associations were observed: Bellucia pentamera Naudin (Melastomataceae) with A. coronilli Carrejo y Gonzalez; Malmea gaumeri (Greenm.) Lundell (Annonaceae) with A. bahiensis Lima; Tabernamontana alba Mill. (Apocynaceae) with A. cordata Aldrich; Quararibea yunckeri Standl. (Bombacaceae) with A. crebra Stone; Ampelocera hottlei (Standl.) Standl. (Ulmaceae) with A. obliqua (Macquart) and A. fraterculus (Wiedemann); Zuelania guidonia Britton & Millsp. and Casearia tremula (Griseb.) Griseb. ex C. Wright (Flacourtaceae) with A. zuelaniae Stone; Psidium sartorianum (O. Berg.) Nied (Myrtaceae) with A. fraterculus; Psidium guajava L. and P. sartorianum (Myrtaceae) with A. striata Schiner; Manilkara zapota (L.) Van R6yen, Pouteria sp., Bumelia sebolana Lundell and Calocarpum mammosum (L.) Pierre (Sapotaceae) with A. serpentina (Wiedemann). The following are new host plant records: Malmea gaumeri for A. bahiensis; Quararibea yunckeri for A. crebra; Ampelocera hottlei for A. fraterculus and A. obliqua; Bumelia sebolana for A. serpentina and Casearia tremula for A. zuelaniae. Anastrepha coronilli is reported for the first time in Mexico. Infestation levels were variable and ranged between 0 to 1.63 larvae per g of fruit depending on host species. Larvae of 8 species of Anastrepha on 9 plant species from 6 plant families were found to be parasitized by Doryctobracon areolatus Szepligeti, D. crawfordi Viereck, D. zeteki Musebeck, (new report for Mexico and northernmost record for the species), Opius hirtus Fisher, Utetes anastrephae Viereck (all Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and Aganaspis pelleranoi Brethes (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.