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Fruit Fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) Parasites & Predators
Many groups of organisms have been reported to attack Tephritidae, but the records are widely scattered in the literature and, except for some pest fruit fly species, there are few lists or review publications concerning tephritid natural enemies. The brief summary provided here is not intended to be comprehensive.
Bateman (1972), Prokopy (1977) and Debouzie (1989) provided general reviews of tephritid natural enemies. Narayanan & Chawla (1962) and Herting & Simmonds (1978) provided world lists of tephritid parasites and predators, and White & Elson-Harris (1992) provided references concerning the parasitoids (mostly Hymenoptera) of the 100 most economically important species of Tephritidae. Wharton (1989) listed parasite species used in biological control. A great deal of useful information on parasitic wasps attacking fruit flies (family level key, taxon pages for many species) is available on the Texas A&M site. For America north of Mexico, Krombein et al. (1979) included records of fruit flies as Hymenoptera hosts, and many references to parasites are indicated in the species synonymies in Foote et al. (1993). Kapoor (1993) listed the known parasitoids of Indian fruit fly species. Hoffmeister (1992) discussed the structure of parasitoid complexes on five European fruit fly species, and Zwölfer & Arnold-Rinehart (1993) discussed the Urophora-Eurytoma complexes on European thistles. Hawkins (1988) compared parasitism rates on gall-forming and other tephritids. At least 130 other publications containing information about fruit fly parasites (as indicated by their titles) are listed in the Fruit Fly Literature Database.
Goeden & Benjamin (1985) and Hedstrom (1994) reported records of Stigmatomyces fungus species known to attack Tephritidae, and Laboulbeniales species have been found on abdomens of various fruit flies (B. Merz, pers. comm.). A virus is known to attack Bactrocera tryoni (Sivinski 1996). Drew & Allwood (1985) described a species of Strepsiptera that parasitizes ten species of Bactrocera. Nematodes have been used for control of several tephritid species (Sivinski 1996), but naturally occurring attacks have not been reported.
Common larval and pupal predators include Formicidae, predaceous wasps, Dermaptera, Staphylinidae, Carabidae, Coccinellidae, Chrysopidae, Pentatomidae, Coreidae, mites, crickets and myriapods (Back & Pemberton 1918, Willard 1927, Monteith 1972, Bateman 1972, Boller & Prokopy 1976, Chaudhary et al. 1983, Condon 1984, Bigler et al. 1986, Fletcher 1987, Wong & Wong 1988, Thomas 1995, Sivinski 1996). Drew (1987) suggested that frugivorous rodents caused the highest mortality in two species of Bactrocera, and Condon (1984) and Thomas (1993) reported predation by rodents on Blepharoneura and Anastrepha immatures. A mordellid beetle and birds attack the immatures of Eurosta solidaginis in their galls (Abrahamson et al. 1994). A cecidomyiid is an egg predator of Bactrocera oleae (Neuenschwander et al. 1983). Spiders, wasps, ants, birds, toads and gekkos are reported predators of adults (Willard 1927, Araya 1954, Steiner et al. 1970, Fletcher 1987, Hendrichs et al. 1994, Condon & Norrbom 1994, Sivinski 1996).
See the Fruit Fly Bibliography Database for full information for cited references.
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Content by Allen L. Norrbom. Last Updated: June 19, 2000.