The western cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis indifferens Curran (Diptera: Tephritidae), is an endemic herbivore of bitter cherry, Prunus emarginata (Douglas ex Hooker) Eaton, but ∼100 years ago established on earlier-fruiting domesticated sweet cherry, Prunus avium (L.) L. Here, we determined if eclosion times of adult R. indifferens from sweet and bitter cherry differ according to the phenology of their respective host plants and if eclosion times of the host-specific parasitoid Diachasma muliebre (Muesebeck) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) attacking bitter and sweet cherry flies differ according to the eclosion phenology of their fly hosts. Fly pupae from sweet and bitter cherry fruit were collected from sympatric and allopatric sites in Washington state, and chilled at 5°C. Because timing of eclosion in R. indifferens depends on chill duration, eclosion time in wasps could also vary with chill duration. To account for this, fly pupae were chilled for 1, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, 6, or 8 mo. Both flies and wasps eclosed earlier with longer chill durations. Eclosion times of sweet and bitter cherry flies from a sympatric site in central Washington did not differ. However, at allopatric sites in northwestern and central Washington, bitter cherry flies eclosed later than sweet and bitter cherry flies at the sympatric site. Correspondingly, D. muliebre parasitizing a more isolated bitter cherry fly population eclosed later than D. muliebre parasitizing earlier-emerging sweet and bitter cherry fly populations. These results provide evidence for D. muliebre rapidly responding to changes in host plant shifts by R. indifferens.
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Vol. 44 • No. 4