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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Habitat factors associated with Fopius caudatus parasitism and population level of its host, Ceratitis cosyra

Sambo, Sahadatou Mama; Togbe, Delano Ronald; Sinzogan, Antonio A. C.; Adomou, Aristide; Bokonon-Ganta, Hippolyte Aime; Karlsson, Miriam Frida


Biotic and abiotic factors affect herbivores and their natural enemies and understanding of their requirements may permit habitat modification enabling conservation biological control. Ceratitis cosyra Walker (Diptera: Tephritidae), an African-native fruit fly pest is mostly parasitized by the parasitoid wasp Fopius caudatus Szepligeti (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). To assess F. caudatus habitat, the wasp parasitism levels and infestation of its fruit fly host were examined in Sarcocephalus latifolius (Smith) Bruce (Rubiaceae), a shrub of which the fruits are among the preferred hosts of C. cosyra and F. caudatus. Fruit-collection site descriptions, including plant species presence, were analysed in relation to the target insect abundances (emergence from target fruit). Ceratitis cosyra and F. caudatus emerged from all sites; nonetheless, their population levels were associated with both abiotic and biotic factors, of which some can be manipulated. Several factors, such as cultivation level, topography, and vegetation coverage, were correlated with F. caudatus parasitism. Ceratitis cosyra infestation level was correlated with factors such as density of S. latifolius, vegetation cover, cultivation practices, temperature, altitude, rainfall pattern, and stoniness. Proximity to other fruit fly host plants correlated with both pest abundance and F. caudatus parasitism level of the fruit fly. The findings that insects' interactions and abundance are influenced by habitat structure and that parasitism is positively related to natural habitat indicates the importance of maintaining natural habitats in closeness to cultivated areas with the aim of enhancing pest suppression by parasitoids. Further studies should attempt to identify how plant species composition in and around orchards could affect the management of tephritid fruit fly pests.


Braconidae; conservation biological control; environment; vegetation; Sarcocephalus latifolius; Tephritidae; Hymenoptera; Diptera; Rubiaceae

Published in

Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
2020, Volume: 168, number: 1, pages: 28-40

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