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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Identification of Host Blends that Attract the African Invasive Fruit Fly, Bactrocera invadens

Biasazin, Tibebe Dejene; Karlsson, Miriam Frida; Hillbur, Ylva; Seyoum, Emiru; Dekker, Teun


Bactrocera invadens, an invasive fruit fly species in the Afro-tropical region belonging to the Bactrocera dorsalis complex, causes considerable damage to fruit production and productivity. We sought to find attractants from hosts of B. invadens that could serve as baits in traps for monitoring and management of this pest. The attractiveness of volatiles from four different fruit species (mango, guava, banana and orange) at two stages of ripeness (ripe or unripe) was tested in an olfactometer assay. All fruits were attractive against a clean air control. Using hexane extracts of volatile collections of fruits, we demonstrated that male flies preferred the volatiles of ripe guava and orange over unripe fruit extracts. There was a slight difference in preference between females and males; females preferred orange to guava and mango, whereas males preferred mango and guava to orange. Gas chromatography/electroantennographic detection (GC/EAD) and GC/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) were used to identify compounds to which B. invadens antennae were sensitive. GC/EAD recordings from distal and medio-central parts of the fly antenna showed responses to a number of compounds from each fruit species, with esters dominating the responses. Synthetic blends were made for each fruit species using the shared antennally active compounds in ratios found in the extracts. In the olfactometer, B. invadens was most attracted to the banana and orange blends, followed by the mango and guava blends. The synthetic banana blend was as attractive as the volatile collection of banana, although both were less attractive than the fruit. The results demonstrate that composing attractive blends from GC/EAD-active constituents shared by host fruits can be effective for formulating attractive synthetic host mimics for generalist fruit fly species, such as B. invadens.


Bactrocera; Electrophysiology; Fruit Fly; Host Plant Volatiles; Olfaction; Preference; Diptera, Tephritidae

Published in

Journal of Chemical Ecology
2014, Volume: 40, number: 9, pages: 966-976
Publisher: SPRINGER