Submitted to: Annals of the Entomological Society of America
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/19/2005
Publication Date: 5/15/2005
Citation: Ovruski, S.M., Norrbom, A.L., Schliserman, P., Aluja, M. 2005. Biology and taxonomy of Rhagoletotrypeta (Diptera: Tephritidae): a new species from Cuba and new host plant, parasitoid and distribution records from northwestern Argentina. Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 98:252-258 Interpretive Summary: Fruit flies include some of the world's most important pests of fruit and vegetable crops. Less than 200 of the more than 4,400 known species are pests, and most of those are exotic. However, to be able to exclude the harmful species from the United States, taxonomic tools to identify the pests from the other species and basic biological information for all the species are critical. This paper describes a new species and reports new distribution and host plant records for a genus close to the apple and cherry maggots. This information will be of use to regulatory agencies such as APHIS-PPQ and to ecologists, insect identifiers, taxonomists and conservationists.
Technical Abstract: We collected ripe Celtis iguanaea (Jacquin) Sargent and C. pubescens (Kunth) Sprengel fruit (Ulmaceae) in the provinces of Catamarca, Tucumán and Salta (NW Argentina) which yielded 183 Rhagoletotrypeta spp. larvae. Rhagoletotrypeta argentinensis (Aczél) was recovered from C. iguanaea, and R. parallela Norrbom and R. pastranai Aczél from Celtis pubescens. All represent new host plant records, and in the case of R. parallela, the first host plant record. Mean pupal weight of flies stemming from C. pubescens (1.2 g per fruit) was 5.2 + 2.3 mg and 7.8 + 1.3 of flies stemming from C. iguanaea (1.8 g) was 7.8 + 1.3. Mean degree of infestation (No. of larvae/100 g of fruit) was 29.6 in the case of C. iguanaea and varied between 18.7 and 50.5 in the case of C. pubescens. Most adults emerged after a 8-12 month diapause period. We also recovered 16 Utetes sp. near anastrephae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae, Opiinae). Overall parasitization rate was 37.2%. Parasitoids entered diapause that lasted up to 12 months. We also describe a new species of Rhagoletotrypeta from Cuba belonging to the xanthogastra species group. Rhagoletotrypeta cubensis Norrbom is the first species belonging to this genus known from the West Indies. The distribution records reported here also extend the known ranges for all four of the species of Rhagoletotrypeta known from Argentina. We discuss our findings in light of their taxonomic and ecological significance and with respect to the possibilities they open for the badly needed study of the zoogeography and behavior of flies in tephritid genera so far deemed unimportant because they are not economically important pests.