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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #68453


item Robacker, David
item HEATH, ROBERT - 6615-05-20

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/4/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Fruit flies such as the Mexican fruit fly are among the most important fruit pests in the world. Wherever they live or could potentially invade, agricultural agencies must keep a vigil to ensure that the flies do not gain a foothold or rise to damaging population levels. The tools of choice for this job are traps that can be put into areas where fruit flies are suspected. The better the bait used in traps, the sooner flies can be detected or their populations assessed, and the easier it is to eradicate or at least control the outbreak. The only reliable trap bait for the Mexican fruit fly at this time is a proteinaceous liquid that must be used in bulky McPhail traps that are difficult to use and not as attractive as users would like. This work describes a novel fruit fly lure that contains several inexpensive and environmentally safe chemicals derived from a native host fruit of the fly. The chemicals had been described previously, but we did not have a good method to put them into a trap so that they would emanate from the traps at attractive rates for more than a few days. The lure evaluated here emits the chemicals as attractive rates for four weeks. Although results indicated the lures were less attractive than the standard lure, the technology used here can be used with other emerging attractant discoveries that may be more effective than the host fruit chemicals tested here. It would then be possible to use those lures with simple sticky traps that are easier and less expensive to service than the McPhail traps.

Technical Abstract: Lures emitting CEHO, a synthetic attractant containing four components of host-fruit volatiles, were evaluated for attrac- tiveness to Mexican fruit flies in a citrus orchard. The lures were at least 12 times more attractive than water but only about 29-56% as attractive as Torula yeast in three experiments. Male and female flies were attracted equally. Lure age (up to one month) and the time of year tests were conducted had no significant effects on attractiveness.