Submitted to: Pan Pacific Entomology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2013
Publication Date: 3/25/2013
Citation: Yee, W.L., Klaus, M.W. 2013. Development of Rhagoletis indifferens Curran (Diptera:Tephritidae) in crabapple. Pan Pacific Entomology. 89(1):18-26. Interpretive Summary: The western cherry fruit fly damages sweet cherry fruit and is a major quarantine pest of cherries in the western U.S. Determining the kinds of fruit other than cherries that the fly can develop in is needed for maximal fly control. Personnel at the USDA-ARS Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory in Wapato, WA and the Washington State Department of Agriculture in Yakima, WA determined if flies naturally infest crabapples. It was found that flies infested crabapples in the field and that larvae completed development in crabapples even though development in crabapples was slower than in cherries. This result is important because it shows that crabapples near cherry orchards need to be considered as a potential source of flies that could infest cherries.
Technical Abstract: Western cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis indifferens, Curran, 1932 (Diptera: Tephritidae), was reared from naturally-infested Chinese crabapple, Malus spectabilis (Ait.) Borkh. (Rosaceae), in Washington state, U.S.A. Pupae from Chinese crabapple were smaller than those from sweet cherry, Prunus avium (L.) L. (Rosaceae), but fecundity and longevity of flies from the two hosts did not differ. Laboratory experiments were conducted to compare larval development in crabapples and cherries. ‘Snowdrift’ crabapples (Malus × ‘Snowdrift’) did not produce pupae. Percentages of ‘Indian Magic’(Malus ‘Indian Magic’) + ‘Radiant’ crabapple (Malus ‘Radiant’) vs. sweet cherry replicates that produced pupae did not differ in two no-choice experiments (36.7 vs. 41.7% and 13.3 vs. 33.5%, respectively). In a choice experiment, the percentage of crabapple replicates that produced pupae (6.7%) was lower than that of cherry replicates (42.2%). Egg to pupal development times in crabapples (18.0–21.2 d) were longer than in cherries (15.4–16.7 d) and pupae from the crabapples were smaller. Results suggest crabapples are not optimal developmental hosts for R. indifferens but that Chinese and ‘Indian Magic’+ ‘Radiant’ crabapples can occasionally allow late-season flies to bridge the gap between one generation and the next when no cherries are available.