, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 81-107

Hymenopteran Parasitoids on Fruit-infesting Tephritidae (Diptera) in Latin America and the Southern United States: Diversity, Distribution, Taxonomic Status and their use in Fruit Fly Biological Control

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We first discuss the diversity of fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) parasitoids (Hymenoptera) of the Neotropics. Even though the emphasis is on Anastrepha parasitoids, we also review all the information available on parasitoids attacking flies in the genera Ceratitis, Rhagoletis, Rhagoletotrypeta, Toxotrypana and Zonosemata. We center our analysis in parasitoid guilds, parasitoid assemblage size and fly host profiles. We also discuss distribution patterns and the taxonomic status of all known Anastrepha parasitoids. We follow by providing a historical overview of biological control of pestiferous tephritids in Latin American and Florida (U.S.A.) and by analyzing the success or failure of classical and augmentative biological control programs implemented to date in these regions. We also discuss the lack of success of introductions of exotic fruit fly parasitoids in various Latin American countries. We finish by discussing the most pressing needs related to fruit fly biological control (classical, augmentative, and conservation modalities) in areas of the Neotropics where fruit fly populations severely restrict the development of commercial fruit growing. We also address the need for much more intensive research on the bioecology of native fruit fly parasitoids.