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Title: Ammonia Formulations and Capture of Anastrepha Fruit Flies (Diptera: Tephritidae)

item Thomas, Donald
item Epsky, Nancy
item Hall, David
item Kendra, Paul
item Heath, Robert

Submitted to: Journal of Entomological Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/22/2007
Publication Date: 1/25/2008
Citation: Thomas, D.B., Epsky, N.D., Serra, C.A., Hall, D.G., Kendra, P.E., Heath, R.R. 2008. Ammonia formulations and capture of Anastrepha fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal of Entomological Science. 43:76-85.

Interpretive Summary: The old adage that one can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar does not hold for fruit flies. The best attractant for trapping the pest fruit flies in the genus Anastrepha contain proteins and vinegar. Tests conducted in three different countries to find the best combination of attractants, in Mexico, USA (Florida) and Puerto Rico, gave different results. The Mexican fruit fly (in Mexico) and the Caribbean fruit fly (in Florida) were trapped in higher numbers using ammonium acetate, a compound which releases ammonia and acetic acid. The West Indian fruit fly (in Puerto Rico) seemed to prefer the whole proteinaceous attractants over the synthetics. Ideally, a single formulation consisting of a simple blend of attractant compounds, effective against the most important fruit flies over a range of ecological conditions, could be deployed by different pest management programs. Our results suggest that what works best for one species might not be the best for the other species.

Technical Abstract: Fruit flies in the genus Anastrepha, especially the reproductive age females, are attracted in numbers to protein baits. Synthetic lures based on the principle components of protein degradation, especially ammonia along with acetic acid, were tested against three of the most economically important species. The results varied among the species, perhaps in part because of the different environmental conditions where these pests are prevalent. In Mexico and Florida, A. ludens and A. suspense respectively, were trapped in higher numbers by traps baited with synthetic lures containing ammonium acetate and putrescine. In Puerto Rico, where A. oblique is the dominant pest, traps with whole aqueous protein baits outperformed the synthetic blends. Ideally, a single attractant formulation could be deployed by a regional crop protection program for detection of an array of pest fruit flies. Our results suggest that the optimal blend may vary from one region to another.