Peach, Prunus persica (L.) Batsch (Rosaceae), has been reported to be a host of the apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella (Walsh, 1867) (Diptera: Tephritidae), an important quarantine pest of apple (Malus domestica Borkhausen) (Rosaceae) in the western U.S.A. However, all reports of peach as a host appear unreliable. Here, we tested the hypothesis that apple maggot does not utilize peaches in western Washington state. In 2013, unbaited sticky yellow rectangle traps were hung in a peach orchard ∼50 m from neglected apple trees in Vancouver, Washington. During 2013–2015, peaches in the orchard were collected, peaches were hung in infested apple trees, and peaches were exposed to flies in the laboratory. In 2013, 24 flies were caught on 200 traps in the peach orchard, but no larvae emerged from 4,243 ‘Alberta’ or ‘Redhaven’ peaches collected under ∼200 trees in 2013 and 2014 or from peaches hung in apple trees in 2013. In 2015, however, 24 apple maggot larvae emerged from 804 ‘Starfire’ or ‘PE 23’ peaches, specifically from collections under two of 13 trees. In addition, in one of four laboratory tests, 11 larvae emerged from ‘Redhaven’ peaches exposed to apple maggot flies. Contrary to our prediction, results definitively show that peach can be an occasional developmental host for apple maggot larvae in the field and that apple maggot flies can be successfully reared using peach as a host in the laboratory.
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Vol. 92 • No. 4