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item Robacker, David

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/24/2006
Publication Date: 9/13/2006
Citation: Robacker, D.C. 2006. Attraction of Mexican fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) to two synthetic lures: effects of water and thermal stress. Florida Entomologist. 89(3):305-310.

Interpretive Summary: The Mexican fruit fly is a pest of citrus and other fruit from south Texas through Central America and poses a threat to fruit industries throughout subtropical and tropical regions of the world. In order to keep this fly in check, it is necessary to monitor for its presence with traps that rely on odorous lures to attract the flies. Two lures that have been developed recently by ARS scientists working in partnerships with industry are known to attract the Mexican fruit fly. Field tests indicate that the Biolure, MFF lure, is the better lure in traps containing water, whereas the AFF lure is better on dry traps that capture flies on a sticky surface. The reasons for these differences are unknown. The purpose of this work was to determine why the lures work differently with different types of traps by evaluating attractiveness under different temperatures and water stress conditions in a controlled environment greenhouse. Results indicated that flies were attracted to the two lures nearly equivalently under the different conditions. Generally, higher temperatures, fly thirst, and especially presence of water in traps, increased attraction of both sexes to either lure. This work indicates that these two commercial lures should be equally effective in a wide range of environments. Results do not explain the observed differences in efficacies on different trap types in the field. Research of this kind is conducted as an aid to users who must decide which lure will be more effective for their fruit fly control programs.

Technical Abstract: Experiments were conducted in a flight chamber in a controlled environment greenhouse to determine if thermal and water stress accounted for reported greater attraction of Mexican fruit flies, Anastrepha ludens (Loew), to BioLures (Suterra, Inc., Bend, OR) compared with AFF lures (Advanced Pheromone Technologies, Inc., Maryllhurst, OR) in multilure traps in the field. For most combinations of air temperature, water vs. no water in traps, and non-thirsty vs. thirsty flies, response to traps with BioLures or AFF lures were equivalent. However, AFF lures were more attractive than BioLures to both males and females for the combination of low temperature, water in traps, and non-thirsty flies. Also, summed over thirst states and temperatures, adding water to traps increased attraction of both males and females to AFF lures moreso than to BioLure. Generally, higher temperatures, water deprivation of flies, and especially presence of water in traps, increased attraction of both sexes to both lures. Results do not explain the observed greater attractiveness of BioLures over AFF lures in multilure traps in the field.