Research Reports: Laboratory and Field Olfactory Attraction of the Mexican Fruit Fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) to Metabolites of Bacterial Species

  • Adelaido J. Martinez
  • David C. Robacker
  • Jose A. Garcia
  • Kenneth L. Esau


Bacteria isolated from the Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens Loew, were identified and found to be similar to bacteria isolated from other fruit fly species. Bacteria of the same species as those identified from A. ludens were obtained from the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC). These bacteria were cultured and attractiveness to A. ludens adults was determined for the whole beer, and for filtered and autoclaved supernatants in laboratory bioassays. All bacterial cultures were attractive to A. ludens, and some were significantly more attractive than others. Autoclaved supernatants were significantly more attractive than the whole beer or filtered supernatants. Two strains of Bacillus thuringiensis (serovars finitimus and kurstaki), not previously reported to attract fruit flies, were attractive to A. ludens. In field studies, metabolites from bacterial fermentation of two cultures (ATCC #8090 and #13883) captured as many A. ludens adults as Torula yeast/borate pellets. Metabolites from these two cultures caught nearly twice as many females as males compared to about equal numbers of males and females captured by Torula yeast/borate pellets and Nulure@^R. Consistent with laboratory bioassays, metabolites from RGM-1 caught significantly fewer A. ludens adults than the metabolites from #8090 and #13883.
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