, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 63-83

Contribution of Biological Control to Integrated Pest Management of Tephritid Fruit Flies in the Tropics and Subtropics

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Abstract

The biological control of pest tephritid flies using parasitoids has been successful in relatively few subtropical and tropical regions. The best documented successes were in Hawaii and Florida, USA, Fiji and southern Europe. There were relatively limited successes in Australia, Costa Rica and Mexico. With the accidental establishment of new pest tephritids, such as Bactrocera latifrons (Hendel) in Hawaii or Bactrocera papayae Drew and Hancock in Australia, foreign exploration for new parasitoids is essential. A renewal of interest in classical biological control has recently occurred, although not at the same level as in the 1940s and 1950s. New parasitoid species are currently being obtained for several tephritids, such as Ceratitis capitata (Weidemann), B. latifrons and Anastrepha suspensa (Loew). The advances in mass rearing and quality control technology for parasitoids has enabled researchers to perform large-scale field testing of these parasitoids to determine the potential of augmentative releases. Numerous studies on the augmentative release of parasitoids have been done. Historically, the larval—pupal parasitoid Diachasmimorpha longicaudata (Ashmead) has been the most frequently studied parasitoid, due to the ease of rearing this species. However, recent successes in rearing other species with different biologies, e.g. the egg—pupal parasitoid Biosteres arisanus (Sonan), the gregarious eulophid, Tetrastichus giffardianus (Silvestri) and the pupal parasitoid, Coptera sp., will enable researchers to broaden the repertoire of parasitoid species for the future. Both successes and failures in augmentative releases have occurred. Without knowledge of the behavioural ecology of parasitoids, the reasons for success or failure can only be surmised. Recent research on the dispersal and host habitat finding of tephritid parasitoids will provide insights into improving augmentation and conservation strategies. The integrated pest management (IPM) of tephritid flies in the tropics has been less well-developed than research and programmes for tephritids in temperate zones. Significant emphasis is now being placed on the development of quarantine treatment methods that are environmentally sound; thus IPM will take a larger role. Several existing pest management strategies are reviewed which show the potential for compatibility with the activities of tephritid parasitoids. These include trap cropping, insecticides with selective toxicity to the target pests, mass trapping with parapheromones, the sterile insect technique and field sanitation.