Submitted to: American Society of Agricultural Engineers Resource Magazine
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2003
Publication Date: 12/1/2003
Citation: Mizrach, A., Hetzroni, A., Ignat, T., Grinshpun, J., Mazor, M., Shuman, D., Mankin, R.W., Epsky, N.D., Heath, R.R. Trapping flies with acoustics: artificial song attracts female mediterranean fruit flies. American Society of Agricultural Engineers Resource Magazine. 2003. v. 96, p. 1770-1779. 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 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 of fruit flies, particularly the females that could lay eggs and build up populations. This report describes 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 acoustic traps were effective only over short distances. Efforts are in progress to optimize the trap and improve the percentages of nearby female medflies that are captured.
Technical Abstract: Fruit flies are common agricultural pests in most parts of the world. The polyphagous Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata ('medfly') damages more than 250 different types of fruit, including citrus as well as many deciduous and subtropical fruits. The common control schemes utilize ultra-low-volume aerial spraying of poison-bait mixture and scattering sterile males. Increased public awareness of the environmental threats from extensive pesticide usage has increased interest in the development of environment-friendly alternatives. Females, which cause direct damage to the fruit, are the main target for control. Attractants, especially for females, are efficient population control tools with reduced environmental impact. Medfly males produce three distinct sounds as part of their sexual communication ritual. There have been only a few attempts to utilize male sounds, natural or artificial, to attract female fruit flies. The calling song - low amplitude vibrations at a frequency of ~350 Hz, has the potential to be utilized as an artificial female attractant. The objective of this study was to evaluate the attraction of mate-seeking female medflies to broadcasting recorded and synthetic sounds. 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.