Patterns in Appearance and Fruit Host Utilization of Fruit Flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) on the Kalaupapa Peninsula, Molokai, Hawaii

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ISSN: 0073-134X

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Harris, Ernest J.; Liquido, Nicanor J.; Lee, Clifford Y.L.
Bactrocera dorsalis; Bactrocera cucurbitae; Bactrocera latifrons; population ecology; host plants; Ceratitis capitata; spatial distribution; population dynamics; phenology; fruits (plant anatomy); traps; pest monitoring; Molokai; Hawaii; fruit flies; Solanaceae
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Distribution and population characteristics of tephritid flies, namely, solanaceous fruit fly, Bactrocera latifrons Hendel, oriental fruit fly, B. dorsalis (Hendel), melon fly, B. cucurbitae (Coquillet), and Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) were monitored with male lure traps on Kalaupapa peninsula on the island of Molokai. Likewise, fruits were inventoried and sampled to augment trap data and generate information on the spatial patterns of fruiting phenology and fruit utilization among fruit flies. In 1991–1992 and 1995, trap catches indicated that B. dorsalis and B. cucurbitae had similar seasonal population trends and were caught in highest density in residential and wild guava areas. However, the mean catch/trap/day for B. dorsalis (654 ± 493.73) was ca. 40-fold higher than B. cucurbitae (31.4 ± 15.28). Only 1 C. capitata was caught in a coffee tree, Coffea arabica L., in Kalaupapa Settlement on December 12, 1995. Although, B. latifrons was never caught in male lure traps baited with latilure, fly presence was detected in fruit collections. For the first time in Kalaupapa settlement, we report infestations of B. latifrons in sodom apple, Solanum sodomeum L., lei kikania, S. aculeatissium Jacq., cherry tomato, Lycopersicum esculeatissium Miller and coffee, Coffea arabica L. Fruit sampling proved to be a sensitive tool to survey for fruit flies, particularly, B. latifrons, as well as a reliable indicator to characterize fruit host sharing among the four fruit fly species. Niche biology and ecology of B. latifrons is discussed in relation to other tephritid fruit flies on the Kalaupapa peninsula.