Submitted to: Biological Control
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/2/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Tephritid fruit flies destroy crops throughout the world and hinder the development of agricultural exports in Caribbean basin countries. Fruit fly populations can be suppressed either through the introduction of new natural enemies, such as parasitoids, or through their augmented release. In order to biologically control fruit flies it is important that parasitoids in other countries be inventoried and their characteristics determined. In Mexico, USDA, ARS scientists and collaborators at the Instituto de Ecologia have found 10 parasitoids of Anastrepha spp. fruit flies. Some of these attack fly larvae, others pupae. Some lay their eggs through the skin of infested fruits and others crawl about in fruit pulp hunting their hosts. Certain species are found primarily in wild, native fruits and others are in commercial, domestic fruits. In the future these parasitoids may be exported into the USA to suppress pest populations and serve as subjects for studies that address the ecology and behavior of fruit flies and their natural enemies.
Technical Abstract: We surveyed 15 wild and cultivated plants in search of fruit fly parasitoids during 5 years (1992-1996). The following species were infested by Anastrepha larvae: Spondias purpurea, S. mombin, Tapirira mexicana, Mangifera indica (Anacardiaceae), Ximenia americana (Olacaceae), Citrus sinensis, Casimiroa edulis, (Rutaceae), Psidium guajava, P. sartorianum, P. .guineense, Syzygium jambos, Myrciaria floribunda (Myrtaceae), Chrysophyllu mexicanum, Calocarpum mammosum (Sapotaceae), and Passiflora foetida (Passifloraceae). Of these, only C. mexicanum, C. edulis and P. foetida did not harbor parasitoids. We identified 10 native and exotic larval-pupal parasitoid species (all Hymenoptera): Doryctobracon areolatus, D. crawfordi, Utetes (Bracanastrepha) anastrephae and Opius hirtus (all Braconidae), Aganaspis pelienaroi and odontosema anastrephae (Eucoilidae) (all native species) and Diachasmimorpha longicaudata and Aceratoneuromyia indica (Braconidae and Eulophidae, respectively; both exotic species). We also identified two pupal parasitoids: Coptera haywardi (Diapriidae; native), and Pachycrepoideus vindemiae (Pteromalidae; exotic). Parasitization levels ranged between 0.4% and 83.8%. Native, wild plants harbored significantly more parasitoids per fruit than cultivated ones. Interestingly, in Psidium guajava two fly species and five parasitoid species were once identified in a single fruit.