Anastrepha fraterculus (Wiedemann) is recognized as a pest of citrus, apples, and blackberries in South America. In Mexico, it is mainly found in fruit of the family Myrtaceae and has never been reported infesting citrus. Here, we sought to determine whether females stemming from Mexican A. fraterculus populations (collected in the state of Veracruz) would lay eggs in ‘Valencia’ oranges and ‘Ruby Red’ grapefruit and, if so, whether larvae would hatch and develop. We worked under laboratory and seminatural conditions (i.e., gravid females released in fruit-bearing, bagged branches in a commercial citrus grove) and used Anastrepha ludens (Loew), a notorious pest of citrus, as a control species. Under laboratory conditions, A. ludens readily accepted both oranges and grapefruit as oviposition substrates, but A. fraterculus rarely oviposited in these fruit (but did so in guavas, a preferred host) and no larvae ever developed. Eggs were deposited in the toxic flavedo (A. fraterculus) and nontoxic albedo (A. ludens) regions. Field studies revealed that, as was the case in the laboratory, A. fraterculus rarely oviposited into oranges or grapefruit and that, when such was the case, either no larvae developed (oranges) or of the few (13) that developed and pupated (grapefruit), only two adults emerged that survived 1 and 3 d, respectively (5–17% of the time necessary to reach sexual maturity). In sharp contrast, grapefruit exposed to A. ludens yielded up to 937 pupae and adults survived for >6 mo. Therefore, the inability of Mexican A. fraterculus to successfully develop in citrus renders the status of Mexican A. fraterculus as a pest of citrus in Mexico as unsubstantiated.
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Vol. 96 • No. 6