Host Status of Litchi and Rambutan to the West Indian Fruit Fly (Diptera: Tephritidae)

David A. Jenkins, Ricardo Goenaga

Abstract


Fruit of litchi, Litchi chinensis, and rambutan, Nephelium lappaceum, were collected from the field in 2006 and 2007 and monitored for the emergence of West Indian fruit flies, Anastrepha obliqua. Fruit clusters of rambutan and litchi, with a piece of the peel removed to allow access to ovipositing females, were also placed in cages and exposed to 12-d-old post-eclosion male and female West Indian fruit flies for 48 h. These exposed fruit were then monitored for the emergence of A. obliqua. Mango fruit were simultaneously exposed to male and female A. obliqua in separate cages and monitored for the emergence of A. obliqua. Fruit fly traps baited with putrescine and ammonium acetate were placed in orchards of litchi and rambutan, as well as an adjacent orchard of carambola, Averrhoa carambola, to demonstrate the presence of fruit flies while litchi and rambutan were fruiting. Although we collected 3732 ripe litchi fruit (40.34 kg) and 5534 ripe rambutan fruit (166.60 kg), none of these yielded tephritid larvae. Litchi and rambutan fruit exposed to adult fruit flies in cages did not yield tephritid larvae, though similarly exposed mangoes did. We conclude that litchi and rambutan have an undetectably low probability of being infested by A. obliqua in Puerto Rico.

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