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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Hilo, Hawaii » Daniel K. Inouye U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center » Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #313152

Research Project: Biology, Control, and Area-Wide Management of Fruit Flies and Other Quarantine Pests

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

Title: Ammonium acetate enhances the attractiveness of a variety of protein-based baits to female Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Author
item Pinero, Jaime - Lincoln University Of Missouri
item Souder, Steven
item Smith, Trevor - Florida Department Of Agriculture And Consumer Services
item Fox, Abbie - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)
item Vargas, Roger

Submitted to: Journal of Economic Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2015
Publication Date: 3/19/2015
Citation: Pinero, J.C., Souder, S., Smith, T.R., Fox, A.J., Vargas, R.I. 2015. Ammonium acetate enhances the attractiveness of a variety of protein-based baits to female Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 108(2):694-700.

Interpretive Summary: Fruit flies (Diptera:Tephritidae) stand out as one of the most economically important insect pests attacking fruits and vegetables grown in temperate, tropical, and sub-tropical areas of the world. The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, is often considered the number one insect pest threatening agriculture worldwide. For several decades, efforts to suppress fruit flies around the globe have relied heavily on the application of protein baits mixed with a toxicant or insecticide. This tactic targets female fruit flies based on their need for protein in egg production. For effective suppression of fruit fly populations, protein-based bait formulations must induce good levels of attraction to the source and stimulate flies to ingest a lethal dose of the toxicant upon contact. Ammonia-releasing substances are known to play an important role in fruit fly attraction to food sources. This study conducted by Agricultural Research Service (ARS), U.S. Department of Agriculture, Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, Hilo, Hawaii, aimed at quantifying the behavioral response of male and female Mediterranean fruit flies, to protein-based baits that are commercially available in association with added ammonium acetate (AA) or ammonium carbonate (AC). Our results documented a significant increase in response of female Mediterranean fruit fly to seven out of eight protein baits tested when AA, was added to the bait. Ammonium carbonate only increase female Mediterranean fruit fly response to one of eight baits tested. The response of male Mediterranean fruit flies was not influenced significantly by the addition of AA or AC. In summary, our findings indicate that the addition of AA to commercially available proteinaceous baits can greatly improve their attractiveness to Mediterranean fruit fly potentialy increasing the baits's effectiveness for fruit fly monitoring and suppression.

Technical Abstract: Ammonia and its derivatives are used largely by female fruit 32 flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) as volatile cues to locate protein-rich food needed to produce their eggs. This need for external protein sources has led to the development of behaviorally-based control strategies such a food-based lures and insecticidal baits targeting pestiferous fruit fly species. In field cage studies conducted in Hawaii, we examined the behavioral response of lab-reared male and female Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) to seven commercially available protein baits and to beer waste, a relatively inexpensive and readily available substance. Each material was tested alone or in combination with either ammonium acetate ammonium carbonate. For the majority of baits evaluated, the presence of ammonium acetate, but not ammonium carbonate, elicited a significantly greater level of response of female C.capitata compared to the protein baits alone. The addition of ammonium acetate to selected baits increased bait attractiveness to a level comparable to that elicited by the most widely used spinosad-based protein bait, GF-120. Our findings indicate that the addition of ammonium acetate to commercially available proteinaceous baits and to beer waste can greatly improve their attractiveness to C.capitata, potentially increasing the bait's effectiveness for fruit fly monitoring and suppression.