Open Access
Translator Disclaimer
Luis E. Oroño, Sergio M. Ovruski, Allen L. Norrbom, Pablo Schliserman, Carolina Colin, Cristina B. Martin
Author Affiliations +

Anastrepha fraterculus (Wiedemann) (South American fruit fly) is a polyphagous cryptic species complex (Steck 1991) distributed throughout continental America from USA (it has occasionally been trapped in extreme south Texas but does not seem to be established) and Mexico to Argentina (Aluja 1999; Norrbom et al. 1999b). It and Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Mediterranean fruit fly) are the only two economically important fruit fly species found in Argentina (Aruani et al. 1996). There are some genetic differences between A. fraterculus collected from Psidium guajava L. in the Buenos Aires (central-eastern region) and Tucumán (northwestern region) Provinces (Sonvico et al. 1996), but Alberti et al. (2002) concluded that Argentine populations of the complex are conspecific. Within Argentina, A. fraterculus is mainly restricted to the northern region between 22° and 31°S latitude where it breeds in native and wild exotic plant species (Ovruski et al. 2003), whereas C. capitata occurs from the northern region to as far south as 40°S latitude in Patagonia (southern region), mainly in the Río Negro Valley, commonly infesting commercial exotic fruits (Sanchez et al. 2001).

Of 29 fruit species recorded as hosts of A. fraterculus in Argentina, only seven are from plants known to be indigenous to the country (Rust 1918; Ogloblin 1937; Hayward 1960; Blanchard 1961; Putruele 1996; Nasca et al. 1996; Ovruski et al. 2003). Unfortunately, most of these host records did not include data on field infestation level, fruiting phenology, part of the fruit being used by larvae, nor taxonomists performing the plant and fly identifications (Ovruski et al. 2003). Many records excluded specimen or voucher data. All this information is needed to unequivocally consider a plant species as a natural host (Norrbom & Kim 1988; Aluja 1999). This work provides new host plant records for A. fraterculus and a more complete picture of the native host range of this economically important tephritid species in Argentina.

Fruit samples consisted of fallen ripe fruit of two native plants, Chrysophyllum gonocarpum (Mart. et Eich.) Engler (Sapotaceae) (locally known as “aguay”) and Inga marginata Willd. (Fabaceae) locally known as “pacay” or “inga del cerro, which were collected in patches of disturbed wild vegetation. The fruit samples of C. gonocarpum were collected at El Oculto (Salta Province, NW Argentina) at 23°06’S latitude and 64°29’W longitude, and 530 m above sea level, whereas the fruit samples of I. marginata were collected at Horco Molle (Tucumán Province, NW Argentina) at 26°45’S latitude and 65°20’W longitude, and 500 m altitude.

Chrysophyllum gonocarpum is a tree that reaches 7-12 m in height with a trunk diameter of 20-50 cm when fully grown (Legname 1982). The fruit is a yellow subglobose berry with five longitudinal grooves, 2.9 ± 0.8 cm (mean ± SD) in diameter and 8.2 ± 1.3 g in weight (n = 100) when fully ripe. In NW Argentina, it is distributed in the Subtropical Montane Rainforest (locally known as “Yungas” or “tucumano-bolivian” forest), and is found at altitudes of 400-1200 m between the Premontane Forest and Montane Forest environmental units of the Yungas (Morales et al. 1995). The fruiting period occurs from October to December (L. Oroño and S. Ovruski, pers. obs.), although according to Legname (1982) it starts in September.

Inga marginata is a tree that reaches 4-12 m in height with a trunk diameter of 10-30 cm when fully grown (Legname 1982). The fruit is a yellow-brown indehiscent pod, 10.8 ± 2.2 cm long, 2.9 ± 2.3 cm wide, and 21.2 ± 6.3 g weight (n = 100) when fully ripe. In NW Argentina, I. marginata is found at altitudes of 300-700 m in the Premontane Forest and Montane Forest of the Yungas (Morales et al. 1995). The fruiting period lasts from January to March (Legname 1982).

Samples ranged from 45 to 130 fruits, depending on fruit availability. These samples were placed in individual cloth bags, and then put inside a plastic container (45 × 27 × 38 cm) for transport to the laboratory of the Centro de Investigaciones para la Regulación de Poblaciones de Organismos Nocivos (CIRPON), in San Miguel de Tucumán (26°50’S, 65°13’W, 426 m), Tucumán Province. In the laboratory, each fruit was counted, weighed, and placed individually in a plastic tray with damp sand in the bottom as a pupation substrate. All tephritid pupae from each fruit tray were removed every three days, and the A. fraterculus and C. capitata pupae were separated based on external pupal characters (White & Elson-Harris 1992). The pupae were then isolated in individual plastic container (220 cm3) with moistened sterile sand at the bottom. A mesh-covered top was fitted over the glass. All trays containing pupae were kept inside a room at 25 ± 1°C, 75 ± 5% relative humidity and a photoperiod of 14:10 (L:D) h for two months. Emerged flies and parasitoids were captured alive. Parasitoids and C. capitata adults were placed in plastic vials containing 70% ethanol, while A. fraterculus adults were placed in transparent Plexiglas cages (30 × 30 × 30 cm) and provided with diet (sugar and hydrolysate enzymatic yeast) and distilled water. One week after emergence, A. fraterculus adults were killed in 70% ethanol. A. Norrbom and S. M. Ovruski identified the Anastrepha specimens, and S. M. Ovruski identified the C. capitata and parasitoid specimens. C.B. Martin identified the host plant species. Voucher specimens of the insects are placed in entomological collections of the National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC, USA, and Fundación Miguel Lillo (FML), in San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina. Voucher specimens of host plants are placed in the herbarium of FML. Terminology for native host plants follows Morales et al. (1995). Parasitism rates reported here are based on the number of emerged adult flies and parasitoids. Fruit infestation levels are expressed as the mean (±SD) number of A. fraterculus and C. capitata pupae per individual fruit and as the total number of A. fraterculus and C. capitata pupae per kg of fruit. These indices are given for all fruit samples (uninfested plus infested) and also for infested samples only. Spearman’s coefficient of rank correlation was calculated to determine the relationship between individual fruit weight and the number of A. fraterculus pupae yielded per fruit.

A total of 168 (1,213.8 g) C. gonocarpum fruits were collected from six trees between October 12, 2001 and November 18, 2001, and 407 (8,964.9 g) I. marginata fruits were collected from five trees between February 25, 2002 and April 16, 2002. Of the fruit sampled, 50 (29.8%) C. gonocarpum and 25 (6.1%) I. marginata produced tephritids. Anastrepha fraterculus was reared from 47 (27.9%) aguay fruits and from all infested pacay fruits. Ceratitis capitata was reared only from 9 (5.4%) aguay fruits. Six (13%) of the C. gonocarpum fruit that produced A. fraterculus, also yielded C. capitata. Anastrepha fraterculus larvae were observed feeding in the pulp of both native plant species. Field infestation data for both host plant species are shown in Table 1.

The infestation level was 3.2 times higher in C. gonocarpum than in I. marginata, despite the greater number of pacay fruit collected (2.5-fold differences). A positive correlation between fruit size and number of A. fraterculus pupae per fruit was observed in both host plant species, but these associations were due to weak correlation coefficients in aguay (Rs = 0.17, P = 0.03, n = 168, minimum and maximum individual fruit weight: 4.5-10.5 g) and pacay (Rs = 0.19, P < 0.001, n = 407, minimum and maximum individual fruit weight: 8.3-39.4 g). In total, 87 A. fraterculus pupae and 9 C. capitata pupae were recovered from all infested aguay fruits. From A. fraterculus pupae, 32 adult flies (37% emergence rate) and one adult parasitoid [Aganaspis pelleranoi (Brèthes) (Hymenoptera: Figitidae, Eucoilinae)] were recovered, and from C. capitata pupae, 3 adult flies (33% emergence rate) were obtained. Of the 168 A. fraterculus pupae recovered from all infested pacay fruits, 64 adult flies (38% emergence rate) and nine adult parasitoids were obtained [8 Doryctobracon brasiliensis (Szépligeti) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae, Opiinae), and 1 A. pelleranoi]. Parasitism rates were 12.3% and 3% in I. marginata and C. gonocarpum, respectively.

Chrysophyllum gonocarpum is recorded for the first time from Argentina as a natural host plant for A. fraterculus, and it appears to be a good host based on infestation data and number of adult flies reared from fruit samples. As reported previously by Ovruski et al. (2003), high levels of infestation by A. fraterculus were also recorded in the Yungas Forest in fruit species weighing between 1 and 60 g, such as the natives Eugenia uniflora L., Myrcianthes pungens (Berg) Legrand (Myrtaceae), Juglans australis Grisebach (Juglandaceae), and the introduced Prunus armeniaca L., P. domestica L., P. persica (L.) Batsch (Rosaceae), and Psidium guajava L. (Myrtaceae). Similarly, Ovruski & Schliserman (2003a) found high infestation rates by A. fraterculus in the natives Feijoa sellowiana (O. Berg) O. Berg (Myrtaceae) and E. uniflora from samples collected in a subtropical rainforest in northeastern Argentina. Interestingly, C. gonocarpum was previously recorded as a primary host for A. fraterculus in southeastern Brazil (Salles 1995; Kovaleski et al. 2000). Chrysophyllum cainito L (star apple) was also recorded as a natural host for A. fraterculus in Perú (Korytkowski & Ojeda-Peña 1970), but this record was considered questionable (Norrbom & Kim 1988). Among 22 indigenous plant families from which A. fraterculus has been reared, the Sapotaceae includes the third highest number of genera and species of native hosts reported (4 genera and 6 species versus 8/26 in Myrtaceae and 4/7 in Rosaceae) (Norrbom et al. 1999a).

Inga marginata is a new host plant record for A. fraterculus, although it has been previously reported as a host of A. distincta Greene in Venezuela (Norrbom & Kim 1988). The low infestation level observed in the native I. marginata is similar to values recorded in exotic cultivated fruit growing in northwestern Argentina, such as Diospyros kaki L. (Ebenaceae), Annona cherimola Mill. (Annonaceae), Citrus paradisi Macfadyn (Rutaceae), and Mangifera indica L. (Anacardiaceae) (Ovruski et al. 2003). Although the Fabaceae are mainly infested by A. distincta (17 species of the genus Inga recorded as hosts), five species of this plant family have been reported as hosts for A. fraterculus) (Norrbom 2004).

As reported previously in northwestern Argentina by Ovruski et al. (2003), we found that A. fraterculus is much more abundant in native, wild fruit than C. capitata. These authors showed that A. fraterculus appears to prefer areas with patches of wild vegetation, whereas C. capitata seems to adapt well to highly perturbed environments where exotic plants are more common. A similar situation has been recorded in several regions of Brazil (Malavasi & Morgante 1981; Malavasi et al. 2000).

Doryctobracon brasiliensis and A. pelleranoi, both native parasitoid species collected in the study areas, were previously recorded from northwestern Argentina in association with A. fraterculus in Prunus armeniaca, P. domestica, P. persica, Psidium guajava, and in J. australis (Ovruski et al. 2004). These two wasp species are solitary, koinobiont endoparasitoids of larvae of the genus Anastrepha, belonging to the fruit fly parasitoid guild number “2” defined by Ovruski et al. (2000). In general, the degree of larval parasitism obtained in I. marginata and C. gonocarpum was similar to values found in other native fruit species such as F. sellowiana, E. uniflora, M. pungens and J. australis, and exotic “feral” species such as P. guajava and Prunus species, which form part of the wild vegetation in perturbed subtropical rainforest of northern Argentina (Ovruski & Schliserman 2003a, 2003b; Ovruski et al. 2004).

Inga marginata and C. gonocarpum increase to nine the number of native host plant species of A. fraterculus recorded for Argentina. Previously, one species of Juglandaceae (J. australis) and six species of Myrtaceae (Eugenia retusa Berg, E. uniflora, M. pungens, Hexachlamys edulis (Berg.) Krausel et Legrand, Campomanesia crenta Berg, and F. sellowiana) were registered for Argentina (Ovruski et al. 2003; Ovruski & Schliserman, 2003a).

The discovery of these two new native host plants for A. fraterculus in northwestern Argentina underscores the importance of conducting fruit surveys in environments with vast areas of native vegetation and over long periods including several fruiting seasons (Aluja 1996; Aluja et al. 2000). Thus, the information yielded by these types of studies can aid the Argentinean National Fruit Fly Control and Eradication Program to develop management strategies in the fruit-producing regions of northern Argentina, where A. fraterculus and C. capitata have numerous alternative host plants.

We express our gratitude to Martín Aluja (Instituto de Ecología, Xalapa. Mexico) for sharing his enormous experience on fruit fly ecology. This work was financed by Fundación PROYUNGAS - Laboratorio de Investigaciones Ecológicas de las Yungas, Facultad de Ciencias Naturales e Instituto Miguel Lillo, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán—Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina (Programas de Investigación sobre Conservación y Manejo Sustentable de la Alta Cuenca del Río Bermejo, Argentina—Bolivia).


Chrysophyllum gonocarpum (Sapotaceae) and Inga marginata (Fabaceae) are reported as host plants of Anastrepha fraterculus in Argentina for the first time. Infestation rates (number of A. fraterculus pupae/kg of fruit) were 86.1 and 27.0 for C. gonocarpum and I. marginata, respectively. In total, 32 A. fraterculus, 3 Ceratitis capitata, and 1 Aganaspis pelleranoi (parasitoid) adults were recovered from C. gonocarpum, while 64 A. fraterculus, 8 Doryctobracon brasiliensis (parasitoid), and 1 A. pelleranoi were obtained from I. marginata.

References Cited


A. C. Alberti, M. S. Rodriguero, P. G. Cendra, B. O. Saidman, and J. C. Vilardi . 2002. Evidence indicating that Argentine populations of Anastrepha fraterculus (Diptera: Tephritidae) belong to a single biological species. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am 95:505–512. Google Scholar


M. Aluja 1996. Future trends in fruit fly management. pp. 309-320 In B. A. McPheron and G. J. Steck. [eds.], Fruit Fly Pests: A World Assessment of Their Biology and Management. St. Lucie Press, Delray Beach, FL. Google Scholar


M. Aluja 1999. Fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) research in Latin America: myths, realities and dreams. Anais Soc. Entomol. Brasil 28:565–594. Google Scholar


M. Aluja, J. Piñero, M. Lopez, C. Ruiz, A. Zuñiga, E. Piedra, F. Diaz-Fleischer, and J. Sivinski . 2000. New host plant and distribution records in Mexico for Anastrepha spp., Toxotrypana curvicauda Gerstacker, Rhagoletis zoqui Bush, Rhagoletis sp., and Hexachaeta sp. (Diptera: Tephritidae). Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash 102:802–815. Google Scholar


R. Aruani, A. Ceresa, J. C. Granados, G. Taret, P. Peruzzotti, and G. Ortiz . 1996. Advances in the national fruit fly control and eradication program in Argentina. pp. 521-530 In B. A. McPheron and G. J. Steck [eds.], Fruit Fly Pests: A World Assessment of Their Biology and Management. St. Lucie Press, Delray Beach, FL. Google Scholar


E. E. Blanchard 1961. Especies Argentinas del género Anastrepha Schiner (sens. Lat.) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Revista Invest. Agric. Buenos Aires (Argentina) 15:281–342. Google Scholar


K. J. Hayward 1960. Insectos Tucumanos perjudiciales. Rev. Ind. Agr. Tucumán 42:3–144. Google Scholar


C. Korytkowski and D. Ojeda-Peña . 1970. Especies del género Anastrepha Schiner 1968 en el nor-oeste Peruano. Rev. Peruana Entomol. (Lima) (1968) 11:32–70. Google Scholar


A. Kovaleski, R. L. Sugayama, K. Uramoto, and A. Malavasi . 2000. Rio Grande do Sul. pp. 285-290 In A. Malavasi and R. A. Zucchi [eds.], Moscas-das-frutas de Importância Econômica no Brasil: Conhecimento Básico e Aplicado. Holos Editora, Ribeirão Preto, Brasil. Google Scholar


P. R. Legname 1982. Los árboles indígenas del noroeste argentino. Opera Lilloana 34:1–226. Google Scholar


A. Malavasi and J. S. Morgante . 1981. Adult and larval population fluctuation of Anastrepha fraterculus and its relationship to host availability. Environ. Entomol 10:275–278. Google Scholar


A. Malavasi, R. A. Zucchi, and R. L. Sugayama . 2000. Biogeografial. pp. 93-98 In A. Malavasi and R. A. Zucchi [eds.], Moscas-das-frutas de Importância Econômica no Brasil: Conhecimento Básico e Aplicado. Holos Editora, Ribeirão Preto, Brasil. Google Scholar


J. M. Morales, M. Sirombra, and A. Brown . 1995. Riqueza de árboles en las Yungas argentinas. pp. 163-174 In A. D. Brown and H. G. Grau [eds.], Investigación, Conservación y Desarrollo en Selvas Subtropicales de Montaña. Proyecto de Desarrollo Agroforestal/LIEY, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina. Google Scholar


A. J. Nasca, J. A. Zamora, L. E. Vergara, and H. E. Jaldo . 1996. Hospederos de moscas de los frutos en el Valle de Antinaco-Los Colorados, provincia de La Rioja, República Argentina. CIRPON Revista de Investigaciones 10:19–24. Google Scholar


A. L. Norrbom 2004. Host plant database for Anastrepha and Toxotrypana (Diptera: Tephritidae: Toxotrypanini). Diptera Data Dissemination Disk 2. Google Scholar


A. L. Norrbom and K. C. Kim . 1988. A list of the reported host plants of the species of Anastrepha (Diptera: Tephritidae). USDA-APHIS, 81-52, 114 pp. Google Scholar


A. L. Norrbom, R. A. Zucchi, and V. Hernández-Ortiz . 1999a. Phylogeny of the genera Anastrepha and Toxotrypana (Trypetidae: Toxotrypanini) based on morphology. pp. 299-342 In M. Aluja and A. L. Norrbom [eds.], Fruit Flies (Tephritidae): Phylogeny and Evolution of Behavior. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Google Scholar


A. L. Norrbom, L. E. Carroll, F. C. Thompson, I. M. White, and A. Freidberg . 1999b. Systematic database of names. pp. 65-251 In F. C. Thompson [ed.], Fruit Fly Expert Identification System and Systematic Information Database, (1998) Myia 9. Google Scholar


A. Ogloblin 1937. La protección de los enemigos naturales de la mosca de la fruta (Anastrepha fraterculus Wied). Almanaque Ministerio de Agricultura: 177-179. Google Scholar


S. M. Ovruski and P. Schliserman . 2003a. Opiine and eucoiline parasitoids (Hymenoptera: Braconidae, Figitidae) of Anastrepha fraterculus (Diptera: Tephritidae) in the citrus orchard areas in corrientes northeastern Argentina. The Canadian Entomol 135:6863–865. Google Scholar


S. M. Ovruski and P. Schliserman . 2003b. First records of hymenopterous larval-pupal parasitoids of Anastrepha fraterculus (Diptera: Tephritidae) in the northwestern province of Catamarca, Argentina. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Washington 105:1056–1059. Google Scholar


S. M. Ovruski, P. Schliserman, and M. Aluja . 2003. Native and introduced host plants of Anastrepha fraterculus and Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Northwestern Argentina. J. Econ. Entomol 96:1108–1118. Google Scholar


S. M. Ovruski, P. Schliserman, and M. Aluja . 2004. Indigenous parasitoids (Hymenoptera) attacking Anastrepha fraterculus and Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) in native and exotic host plants in Northwestern Argentina. Biol. Control 29:43–57. Google Scholar


S. M. Ovruski, M. Aluja, J. Sivinski, and R. Wharton . 2000. 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. Int. Pest Manage. Rev 5:81–107. Google Scholar


M. T G. Putruele 1996. Hosts for Ceratitis capitata and Anastrepha fraterculus in the Northeastern province of Entre Ríos, Argentina. pp. 343-345 In B. A. McPheron and G. J. Steck [eds.], Fruit Fly Pests: A World Assessment of Their Biology and Management. St. Lucie Press, Delray Beach, FL. Google Scholar


E. W. Rust 1918. Anastrepha fraterculus (Wied.)--a severe menace to the southern United States. J. Econ. Entomol 11:457–467. Google Scholar


L. A B. Salles 1995. Bioecologia e controle da moscas das frutas sul-americana. EMBRAPA/CPACT, Pelotas, RS. 58 pp. Google Scholar


R. A. Sanchez, E. J. Rial, and A. P. Mongabure . 2001. Advances in the programme for the eradication of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata Wied.) in the Patagonia region. Argentina. pp. 206-207 In Proc. 4th Meeting of the WGFFWH. Google Scholar


A. Sonvico, F. Manso, and L. A. Quesada-Allue . 1996. Discrimination between the immature stages of Ceratitis capitata and Anastrepha fraterculus (Diptera: Tephritidae) populations by random amplified polymorphic DNA polymerase chain reaction. J. Econ. Entomol 89:1208–1212. Google Scholar


G. Steck 1991. Biochemical systematics and population genetic structure of Anastrepha fraterculus and related species (Diptera: Tephritidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am 84:10–28. Google Scholar


I. M. White and M. M. Elson-Harris . 1992. Fruit Flies of Economic Significance: Their Identification and Bionomics. CAB International, Wallingford, UK. 601 pp. Google Scholar


Table 1.

Infestation levels for Anastrepha fraterculus (Af) and Ceratitis capitata (Cc) in Chrysophyllum gonocarpum and Inga marginata in northwestern Argentina.

Luis E. Oroño, Sergio M. Ovruski, Allen L. Norrbom, Pablo Schliserman, Carolina Colin, and Cristina B. Martin "TWO NEW NATIVE HOST PLANT RECORDS FOR ANASTREPHA FRATERCULUS (DIPTERA: TEPHRITIDAE) IN ARGENTINA," Florida Entomologist 88(2), 228-232, (1 June 2005).[0228:TNNHPR]2.0.CO;2
Published: 1 June 2005

Get copyright permission
Back to Top