Host Status of Grapefruit and Valencia Oranges for Anastrepha serpentina and Anastrepha ludens (Diptera: Tephritidae)

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Anastrepha serpentina (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is sporadically captured in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Although its preferred hosts are in the Sapotaceae family, several varieties of Citrus, including grapefruit and oranges are listed as alternate hosts. Although Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens (Loew), is known to be a major pest of Citrus, doubt exists as to the status of Citrus as a breeding host for A. serpentina. To evaluate the host status of commercial Citrus for A. serpentina we compared oviposition and development with that of A. ludens under laboratory conditions with ‘Rio Red’ grapefruit (Citrus paradisi MacFayden) and ‘Valencia’ oranges [Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck] in different stages of maturity. Both fly species oviposited in early season fruit in which the eggs and larvae died in the fruit albedo. Survival of either species to the adult stage occurred in later season grapefruit. In oranges, no A. serpentina larvae survived compared with 150 A. ludens surviving to adults. Survival on both Citrus species was much lower for A. serpentina, only ≈5% of eggs eclosed into larvae in grapefruit compared with ≈50% for A. ludens. In oranges ≈16% of A. serpentina eggs eclosed compared with ≈76% for A. ludens. In grapefruit, only one fourth as many A. serpentina larvae survived to the adult stage compared with A. ludens. Additional experiments were performed in a greenhouse on small, caged trees of la coma (Sideroxylon celastrinum H.B.K.), a Texas species of Sapotaceae. The A. serpentina females readily oviposited into these berries and normal adults emerged. The present low incidence of the adults, coupled with the high mortality during development of the larvae, suggests that Texas citrus is unlikely to support a breeding population of A. serpentina.

Keywords: Anastrepha fruit flies; Citrus; commodity quarantines; fruit fly hosts

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • 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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