Citrus crops are considered to be relatively poor hosts for Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt), as for other tephritid species. Australian citrus growers and crop consultants have reported observable differences in susceptibility of different citrus cultivars under commercial growing conditions. In this study we conducted laboratory tests and field surveys to determine susceptibility to B. tryoni of six citrus cultivars [(Eureka lemon (Citrus limon (L.) Osbeck); Navel and Valencia oranges (C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck); and Imperial, Ellendale, and Murcott mandarins (C. reticulata Blanco)]. The host susceptibility of these citrus cultivars was quantified by a Host Susceptibility Index, which is defined as the number of adult flies produced per gram of fruit infested at a calculated rate of one egg per gram of fruit. The HSI was ranked as Murcott (0.083) > Imperial (0.052) ≥ Navel (0.026) ≥ Ellendale (0.020) > Valencia (0.008) ≥ Eureka (yellow) (0.002) > Eureka (green) (0). Results of the laboratory study were in agreement with the level of field infestation in the four citrus cultivars (Eureka lemon, Imperial, Ellendale, and Murcott mandarins) that were surveyed from commercial orchards under baiting treatments against fruit flies in the Central Burnett district of Queensland. Field surveys of citrus hosts from the habitats not subject to fruit fly management showed that the numbers of fruit flies produced per gram of fruit were much lower, compared with the more susceptible noncitrus hosts, such as guava (Psidium guajava L.), cherry guava (P. littorale Raddi), mulberry (Morus nigra L.), loquat (Eriobotrya japonica (Thunb.) Lindl.), and pear (Pyrus communis L.). Therefore, the major citrus crops commercially cultivated in Australia have a relatively low susceptibility to B. tryoni, with Eureka lemons being a particularly poor host for this tephritid fruit fly.
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