Atemoya is a hybrid between Annona squamosa L. and Annona cherimola Miller (Annonaceae) and has potential to be an important fruit crop in tropical and subtropical areas. A major impediment to fruit production is low fruit set due to inadequate pollinator visits, typically, by beetles in the family Nitidulidae. We used Universal moth traps to monitor the attractiveness of two commercially available Nitidulidae lures in combination with various food attractants, including raw bread dough, apple juice, and malta beverage, a soft drink by-product of the brewing process. The most commonly trapped beetles were, in order of decreasing frequency, Carpophilus dimidiatus (F.), Brachypeplus mutilatus Erichson, Urophorus humeralis (F.) (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), and Europs fervidus Blatchley (Coleoptera: Monotomidae). All traps, except the unbaited control traps, caught beetles. In a previous study, we found that combining two commercial lures had a synergistic effect on the attraction of these beetle species. In this study, the addition of food attractants increased the number of beetles trapped compared with traps baited with only the commercial lures. Also, food attractants appear to be key in attracting U. humeralis; only one U. humeralis individual of the 206 caught during the experiment was trapped without a food attractant. The variation between the number of beetles caught in traps containing the same treatments was high and may explain the erratic results reported in other studies of pollination in Annona spp. The results are discussed with respect to the use of nitidulid lures and food attractants to increase fruit set in atemoya and other Annonaceae.
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Vol. 108 • No. 4