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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Alternatives to Methyl Bromide: Mitigation of the Threat from Exotic Tropical and Subtropical Insect Pests

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: Trapping African fig fly (Diptera: Drosophilidae) with combinations of vinegar and wine

Authors
item Epsky, Nancy
item Gill, Micah
item Cha, Dong
item Landolt, Peter

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 23, 2013
Publication Date: March 10, 2014
Citation: Epsky, N.D., Gill, M.A., Cha, D.H., Landolt, P.J. 2014. Trapping African fig fly (Diptera: Drosophilidae) with combinations of vinegar and wine. Florida Entomologist. 97(1): 85-89.

Interpretive Summary: The African fig fly is an invasive pest drosophilid fruit fly that has spread rapidly through much of the eastern United States since it was first found in Florida in 2005. There is a need for lures, baits and traps to monitor the distribution and abundance of the African fig fly. However, there is little information available on trapping systems that might be useful for this drosophilid. Therefore, scientists at SHRS and YARL conducted research in southern Florida to test African fig fly response to baits that have been found to be effective for the spotted wing drosphila. They found that the combination of wine and vinegar was the most effective bait, with less response to wine alone and the lowest response to vinegar. Subsequent tests found that the combination of wine and acetic acid (the primary chemical emitted from vinegar) was as effective as the combination of wine and vinegar. This is the first report of effective baits for this pest fruit fly and results of this study suggest that it may be possible to develop a synthetic chemical lure that can be used to detect this fly in areas currently fly free or to monitor this fly in areas infested. This information will be used by state and federal regulatory agencies as well as fruit growers.

Technical Abstract: The African fig fly, Zaprionus indianus Gupta (Diptera: Drosophilidae), is an invasive fruit pest that has spread rapidly through much of the eastern United States. Tests were conducted in southern Florida that recorded the response of Z. indianus to baits that included Merlot wine, rice vinegar, ethanol and acetic acid, alone and in combination. The flies were attracted to the wine but not to the vinegar or unbaited traps, and were most strongly attracted to the combination of wine and vinegar. More flies were captured in traps baited with the combination of ethanol and acetic acid, the most abundant volatiles of wine and vinegar respectively, than in traps baited with either chemical alone or in unbaited traps. A subsequent test found that traps baited with wine plus ethanol were as attractive as traps baited with wine plus vinegar. In this test, there was no difference in capture in unbaited traps or traps baited with ethanol plus acetic acid, and intermediate capture was obtained in traps baited with vinegar plus acetic acid. These findings suggest that it may be possible to develop a synthetic chemical lure for Z. indianus that is based on volatiles from wine used in combination with acetic acid alone or in combination with other volatiles from vinegar.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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