Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/26/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Attractive baits have been a major component in management of fruit flies of major agricultural importance. Protein-based liquid baits are used for detecting females of several pest fruit fly species. Fruit flies have been observed feeding on bird dung, a substance that can provide a source of protein. Bird dung is more attractive than protein-based liquid baits for the Mediterranean fruit fly and the apple maggot fly. Therefore, scientists at the Insect Attractants, Behavior, and Basic Biology Research Laboratory, ARS, USDA in Gainesville, Florida, in collaboration with scientists from the Department of Entomology, University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA,investigated the attractiveness of bird dung for Caribbean fruit flies. Ammonia and other volatile chemicals are involved in attraction of fruit fly adults to bird dung. This information may help improve synthetic chemical baits for use in monitoring and controlling Caribbean fruit flies and other pest fruit flies. These discoveries will yield a critical component needed for the development of improved biorational technologies for environmentally safe methods for pest fruit fly control.
Technical Abstract: Flight tunnel bioassays were conducted to characterize attraction of the Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa (Loew), to volatiles from aqueous solutions of avian fecal material, a source of protein for tephritid flies. Both mated and unmated female flies responded to volatiles from freshly prepared aqueous solutions of crude avian fecal material and from aqueous solutions of methanol extracts of crude avian fecal material when tested against aqueous controls. Numbers trapped decreased or were unchanged in tests of aqueous solutions that aged for 24 and 48 h. However, there was an increase in the number of mated females that were trapped in response to volatiles from solutions of crude material that had aged 72 h. This was not observed in tests of unmated females or in tests of methanol extracts. In direct comparisons, more females were trapped in response to volatiles from crude material than from methanol extracts. There was a direct correlation between amount of ammonia released from and number of flies trapped in response to 0 and 1 d old test solutions, but not in older solutions. Some chemicals that are attractive to mated but not unmated females, appear to be released from the crude material after 3 d in aqueous solution.