A package of technologies are available to suppress tephritid fruit flies in the Area-wide IPM program in progress in Hawaii. A critical need is the development of better parasitoid release methods, strains and strategies to suppress the melon fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae, the most destructive fruit fly infesting cucurbit crops. Based on performance in the field, the larval parasitoid Psyttalia fletcheri is the most effective parasitoid against melon fly. We developed a new colony of this parasitoid in our rearing laboratory for evaluation of biological control methods and tactics. We are evaluating new test procedures with a combinations of strategies to suppress fruit flies in a variety of crop environments. The objective of this study is develop new tools and demonstrate their efficacy for biological control of melon fly in small farmer fields (4-8 acres) in Waialua, Oahu where the melon fly population is high through all seasons of the year. The objective of this research is to test in four outdoor cages (9 x 9 x 9 ft.) erected over a bittermelon crop, Momordica charantia, grown on a trellis system four treatments: 1. Control (wild melon flies) 2. sterile melon fly males (white strain), 3. Sterile melon fly males + P. fletcheri parasitoids (males and females) and 4. P. fletcheri parasitoids only. An update on the progress of this study is presented and discussed with respect to the perception that parasitoid release technology may not be sustainable.
Species 1: Hymenoptera Braconidae Psyttalia fletcheri (parasitoid)
Species 2: Diptera Tephritidae Bactrocera cucurbitae
Keywords: compatible biological methods
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