A bioassay system for collecting volatiles while simultaneously attracting tephritid fruit flies
- Cite this article as:
- Heath, R.R., Manukian, A., Epsky, N.D. et al. J Chem Ecol (1993) 19: 2395. doi:10.1007/BF00979673
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A bioassay system was developed that permits the testing of various substrates for biological activity in a flight tunnel, while simultaneously collecting a portion of the volatiles from the attractive source for subsequent chemical identification and quantification. Bioassays of the response of virgin female Caribbean fruit flies,Anastrepha suspensa (Loew) (Diptera: Tephritidae), to volatiles released by calling males were conducted in a greenhouse under natural light cycles and fluctuating environmental conditions, similar to those in the field. Using this system, the periodicity of response of the female flies between 1300 and 1845 hr (EST) was tested. Fifty to 75% response occurred between 1700 and 1845 hr. Male pheromone release was greatest between 1500 and 1800 hr. Videotaped records of insects, taken between 1700 and 1800 hr as flies approached and entered the traps, were analyzed to interpret the communicative role of the volatiles released. Significantly more flies landed on and entered the pheromone-emitting trap than the control trap. There was no difference in the amount of time spent on the trap face, an indication that volatiles were attractants. The system described should be of general utility in determination of the attraction of pest fruit flies to suspected attractants.