South American fruit fly / Anastrepha fraterculus

  • Description
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South American fruit fly / Anastrepha fraterculus

Potential to infest at least 110 host plants, including economically important fruit crops, such as guava, and apples, cashew, custard apple, starfruit, wooly jelly palm, papaya, common quince, bitter orange, lemon, pomelo, orange or sweet orange, common coffee, Brazil cherry, cherry of the Rio Grande, fig, strawberry, ice cream bean, Barbados cherry.

Species of the South American fruit fly complex are native to and most common in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela), but can also be found in Central America (Guatemala, Panama) and North America (Mexico and the USA).

Females can produce 278-437 eggs. South American fruit fly eggs are laid below the skin of the host fruit. Many Anastrepha spp. lay their eggs deeper inside the fruit or in the seeds. Females deposit eggs into the fruit through sclerotized ovipositors. The eggs hatch into larvae within two days.

Usually, the first instar occurs from 1 to 3 days old, the second instar from 4 to 6 days old, the third instar from 7 to 12 days old. The adults occur throughout the year. They have no winter diapause.

Pupae of the South American fruit fly complex are cylindrical and brownish, becoming darker when the insect is fully developed. In nature, pupae usually can be found buried in the ground. Pupae hatch into adults within two to three weeks.

Males from the South American fruit fly complex exhibit a lek mating system in which calling individuals get together on trees (usually under the leaves) to attract, court, and mate with receptive females. Multiple signals, such as visual (symmetry of structures), acoustical (buzzing) and chemical (pheromones), are used by males to court females.

Attacked fruit can show signs of oviposition punctures, but these, or any other symptoms of damage, are often difficult to detect in the early stages of infestation. Much damage may occur inside the fruit before external symptoms are seen, often as networks of tunnels accompanied by rotting. 


Proper use of Pheromone Traps:

The pheromone trap is designed to monitor and reduce pest numbers. In order to determine the population density of pest insects and to identify pest outbreaks (monitoring), it is recommended to use 1 trap per 1 ha.

The trap should be placed as near the culture at the middle of the plant.  Prior to the first flight of the flies, the traps must be checked on a daily basis, and after the first flieshave been captured, the traps must be checked every 5-7 days. Pheromone dispensers can be changed after 4-6 weeks and sticky tapes can be replaced when is full with pests and dust. Protective measures are based on the results of the monitoring of population density of pest insects.

Trap placement:

For mass capture and sterilization of males, it is recommended to have more than 20 traps per hectare in opened field. In case of a large number of pest insects use 30 traps per 1 ha in opened field. In greenhouses it is recommended to have more than 15 traps per hectare. In case of a large number of pest insects use 20 traps per 1 ha.