Seven plant species are reported for the first time as hosts of Bactrocera carambolae in Brazil. Eugenia stipitata and Pouteria macrophylla, native to the Amazon region, have already been reported as hosts of the carambola fruit fly. The largest number of specimens was obtained from fruits of Averrhoa carambola and Psidium guajaua.
The carambola fruit fly (Bactrocera carambolae Drew & Hancock) (Diptera: Tephritidae), native to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand (White & Elson-Harris 1992), was first reported in South America in 1975 in Paramaribo, Suriname (Sauers-Muller 1991). Bactrocera carambolae was detected in French Guiana in 1989, and in 1996 in the state of Amapá, Brazil, where it is under strict official control (Godoy et al. 2011).
Bactrocera carambolae is a quarantine pest in Brazil, because its presence in production areas would cause the loss of major consumers markets worldwide. Unfortunately, little information is available about this pest's population dynamics, demographics, host range, and host preferences, but such data that are essential for the establishment of control measures. The current list of carambola fruit fly hosts in Brazil is mainly based on information from the center of origin of the species. The following hosts have been reported in Brazil: Averrhoa carambola L. (Oxalidaceae), Malpighia emarginata Sessé & Moc. ex DC. (Malpighiaceae), Psidium guajava L. (Myrtaceae), Pouteria caimito Radlk (Sapotaceae), Rollinia mucosa (Jacq.) Baill. (Annonaceae), and Spondias mombin L. (Anacardiaceae) (Silva et al. 2011a). This work aimed to record new hosts of B. carambolae in the state of Amapá, which is situated in the extreme north of the Brazilian Eastern Amazon.
Fruits were collected in 3 municipalities in Amapá: Santana (S 00° 02′ 09″ -W 51° 13′ 31″), Mazagão (S 00° 06′ 31″ -W 51° 15′ 45″), and Porto Grande (N 00° 36′ 13″ -W 51° 27′ 10″), from Jan to Dec 2012. Samples were collected and processed (individual fruits) and adult insects were obtained according to Silva et al. (2011b).
Adult B. carambolae flies emerged from 9 plant species in 6 families. Six of those plant species are reported here for the first time as hosts of B. carambolae in Brazil (marked with a black circle in Table 1). In September 2010, using the grouped fruits method, we collected a sample of Chrysobalanus icaco L. (79 fruits, 286 g, 160 puparia) in Macapá (N 00° 48′ 30″ -W 50° 45′ 23″), from which 106 B. carambolae adults were obtained. This is the first report of B. carambolae on this plant species. So, in this work we report 7 new hosts of B. carambolae in Brazil.
In Southeast Asia, the region of origin of B. carambolae, Allwood et al. (1999) reported the occurrence of the carambola fruit fly on 75 plant species from 26 families. In Suriname in South America, Sauers-Muller (2005) reported 20 hosts from 9 plant families. A total of 9 species were identified as hosts in this report, 5 [Mangifera indica (cv. ‘Tommy Atkins’), Syzygium malaccense (L.) Merr. & L. M. Perry, P. guajava, A. carambola., and Manilkara zapota (L.) P. Royen] have also been reported by the aforementioned authors. However, this is the first report of Capsicum chinense Jacq. (Solanales: Solanaceae), Chrysobalanus icaco L. (Malpighiales: Chrysobalanaceae), Eugenia stipitata Mc Vaughe (Myrtales: Myrtaceae), and Pouteria macrophylla (Lam.) Eyma (Ericales: Sapotaceae) as hosts of B. carambolae.
The highest number of B. carambolae adults were obtained from A. carambola and P. guajava. These species have been reported in Southeast Asia and in Suriname as the primary hosts of B. carambolae (Allwood et al. 1999; Sauers-Muller 2005). In addition, we especially note the occurrence of B. carambolae on fruits of E. stipitata and P. macrophylla, which are native to the Amazon region. Although the fruits of these plant species were collected in areas altered by human activity, the carambola fruit fly is able to use species of the Amazon flora as alternative hosts. Therefore, new surveys should be conducted for a better understanding of host use by the exotic species B. carambolae in Brazil, encompassing both exotic and native plant species.
The authors thank Maria Julia Signoretti Godoy by supporting research on Bactrocera carambolae in the state of Amapá. We express heartfelt thanks to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply for permission to publish this work, and to the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico — CNPq for the Research Productivity Fellowship granted to R. Adaime and the Human Resource Stability Fellowship granted to E. G. Deus.