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Host range and distribution of fruit-infesting pestiferous fruit flies (Diptera, Tephritidae) in selected areas of Central Tanzania

  • M.W. Mwatawala (a1), M. De Meyer (a2), R.H. Makundi (a3) and A.P. Maerere (a1)

The host range of major fruit fly pests in Central Tanzania was evaluated from October 2004 to October 2006. Samples of 48 potential hosts were collected and incubated for fruit fly emergence. Bactrocera invadens was the dominant species in incidence expressed as the ratio of infested to total number samples collected, as well as infestation rate, expressed as number of flies emerging per unit weight. Eight new host fruits are reported. Infestation by native pests, such as Ceratitis capitata and C. cosyra, was minor compared to B. invadens. Ceratitis rosa was the dominant species in temperate fruits, and Cucurbitaceae were mainly infested by Bactrocera cucurbitae, a specialized cucurbit feeder. Among commercial fruits, high infestation incidences were observed in mango and guava, but they decreased throughout the fruiting season. Low infestation rates were observed in all Citrus species and in avocado, indicating these fruits as poor hosts for the studied fruit fly pests in this region. Widespread availability and abundance of fruit species studied here ensures year-round breeding of B. invadens. Seasonal infestation differs, with mango being the most important host in October to January, while guava being important from February to August. Tropical almond showed very high incidence and infestation rate for B. invadens and might act as an important reservoir host, bridging the fruiting seasons of mango and guava. Soursop acts as an important host for C. cosyra after the mango season. Ceratitis capitata is a pest of minor importance of the commercial fruits studied in this region.

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Bulletin of Entomological Research
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