Submitted to: Environmental Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The Mediterranean fruit fly is a major pest of citrus and other fruit crops worldwide. Because of this threat, much emphasis is placed on detection of this fly. Jackson traps baited with a male attractant chemical are the standard trap used in federal and state detection programs in the United states. Research efforts to develop more effective lures for monitoring populations of this fruit have shown that color may be an important visual cue to increase fruit fly capture. Scientists at the Insect Attractants, Behavior, and Basic Biology Research Laboratory in Gainesville, Florida, in collaboration with USDA scientists in Guatemala and Hawaii tested a new adhesive paper that is available in several colors attractive to fruit flies as an insert for Jackson traps. Field tests were run in sites with native populations of Mediterranean fruit flies. Fluorescent colors (light green, yellow and orange) captured more flies than non-fluorescent (dark green, black and white) in three of four tests. Addition of color cues to traps baited with male attractants increased capture over the standard white insert that is used currently. These findings may provide a significant improvement in detection of Mediterranean fruit flies in the United States. Early detection will provide significant cost savings in eradication efforts and reduce the amount of pesticide-bait sprays that are used against this pest.
Technical Abstract: Tests of the capture of wild Mediterranean fruit flies, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), were made using a commercially produced adhesive paper, which is available in several different colors, as an insert in trimedlure-baited Jackson traps. Colors tested included fluorescent orange, fluorescent yellow, fluorescent light green, dark green, black and white. These inserts were compared with the standard white inserts, which use sticky material that is manually applied. Tests were conducted in both citrus groves and coffee fields in Guatemala, and in a coffee field in Hawaii. Generally, inserts made with the fluorescent colors captured more flies than those with non-fluorescent colors. Traps with light green inserts captured a higher percentage of the flies than traps with the standard white inserts in three of the four trials. Traps containing either yellow or orange inserts captured significantly more flies than the standard white insert in two of the four trials. Traps containing black inserts tended to catch a relatively low percentage of flies. There were differences in host species, host fruit availability and fruit fly population level among the various trials. These factors may influence the role of color cues in the capture of male flies by trimedlure-baited traps.