The U.S. Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center, USDA-ARS, in collaboration with the University of Hawaii and State Department of Agriculture, implemented an IPM program for suppression of tephritid flies. A package of fruit fly control tactics, including augmentative release of the larval parasitoid Psyttalia fletcheri, was initiated over a 40-Km2 demonstration site in Kamuela, island of Hawaii to stifle melon fly (Bactrocera cucurbitae)infestation. In conjunction with this program, open-field releases of (P. fletcheri were commenced on Oahu over a diverse habitat that consisted of a commercial farm of papayas and feral hosts that abound in the vicinity of the fruit orchard. The object of this experiment is to evaluate the impact of parasitoid augmentation when utilized as the sole strategy in the suppression of melon fly. Quantitative assessment consists of monitoring fruit fly abundance with lure traps and collection of papayas and non-cultivated fruit hosts. Ivy gourd, Coccinia grandis,an invasive wild herbaceous ‘liana’ that produces scarlet fruits and grows profusely covering shrubs and trees, sustains breeding population of melon fly that seeks refuge in papaya orchard. Our initial finding indicates that weekly releases of 25-30,000 P. fletcheri in C. coccinia habitat which commenced on 8 April 2003 effects considerable depression of melon fly population in the experimental site. Conversely, corresponding increases in the level of melon fly parasitization have been generated in our fruit collections. An update on the progress of this study is presented.
Species 1: Diptera Tephritidae Bactrocera cucurbitae
Species 2: Hymenoptera Braconidae Psyttalia fletcheri
Keywords: Biological Control, Inundative release
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