Effects of Peganum harmala (Zygophyllaceae) Seed Extract on the Olive Fruit Fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) and Its Larval Parasitoid Psyttalia concolor (Hymenoptera: Braconidae)

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Peganum harmala L. (Zygophyllaceae) is an herb native to arid and semiarid regions of Central Asian deserts. This study investigated the effects of ethanol extracts of P. harmala seeds on the olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) (Diptera: Tephritidae), i.e., adult repellency, reproductive activity, and larval growth, as well as parasitism levels by Psyttalia concolor (Sz├ępligeti). Olive fruit treated with 2% extract reduced B. oleae oviposition. In choice tests, female B. oleae spent >99% of their time foraging on untreated fruit rather than P. harmala-treated fruit. These changes in ovipositional behavior resulted in a nearly 30-fold decrease in oviposition marks on treated fruit compared with untreated fruit during a 48 h exposure period. When female B. oleae were fed liquid diet containing 0.2% P. harmala extract, there was no effect on the number of ovipositional marks on exposed fruit, but up to 21.4% of the deposited eggs were deformed. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analyses of deformed eggs revealed that some protein bands were missing. Consequently, the number of offspring produced by treated females was lower than by untreated females. Neither the sex ratio nor body size of the fly’s offspring were affected by adults fed diet containing 0.2% P. harmala extract. However, there was a slightly prolonged developmental time from egg to adult. Parasitism of larval B. oleae by P. concolor was not affected by infested fruit treatment with 2% P. harmala extract. P. harmala extracts as a potential control for insect pest species are discussed.

Keywords: Peganum harmala; growth inhibition; olive fruit fly; plant extract; repellence

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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