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The use of toxic protein bait sprays to suppress melon fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett) (Diptera: Tephritidae), populations typically involves application to vegetation bordering agricultural host areas where the adults seek shelter (“roost”). Although bait spray applications for suppression of oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), populations have traditionally been applied to the host crop, rather than to crop borders, roosting by oriental fruit flies in borders of some crop species, such as papaya, Carica papaya L. (Brassicales: Caricaceae), suggests that bait spray applications to crop borders could also help in suppression of B. dorsalis populations. In order to develop improved recommendations for application of bait sprays to border plants for suppression of melon fly and oriental fruit fly populations, the relative attractiveness of a range of plant species, in a vegetative (non-flowering) stage, was tested to wild melon fly and oriental fruit fly populations established in a papaya orchard in Hawaii. A total of 20 plant species were evaluated, divided into four categories: 1) border plants, including corn, Zea mays L. (Poales: Poaceae), windbreaks and broad-leaved ornamentals, 7 species; 2) weed plants commonly found in agricultural fields in Hawaii, 6 species; 3) host crop plants, 1 species- zucchini, Cucurbita pepo L. (Violales: Curcurbitaceae), and 4) locally grown fruit trees, 6 species. Plants were established in pots and placed in an open field, in clusters encircling protein bait traps, 20 m away from the papaya orchard. Castor bean, Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiales: Euphorbiaceae), panax, Polyscias guilfoylei (Bull) Bailey (Apiales: Araliaceae), tiger's claw, Erythnna variegata L. (Fabales: Fabaceae), and guava, Psidium guajava L. (Myrtales: Myrtaceae) were identified as preferred roosting hosts for the melon fly, and tiger's claw, panax, castor bean, Canada cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium L. (Asterales: Asteraceae), Brazilian pepper tree, Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Sapindales: Anacardiaceae), ti plant, Cordyline terminate (L.) Chev.(Liliales: Liliaceae), guava and several Citrus spp. were identified as preferred roosting hosts for oriental fruit fly. Guava had not previously been identified as a preferred roosting host for melon fly. Other than for the use of panax as a roosting host, there has previously been little attention to roosting hosts for oriental fruit fly. Establishment of preferred roosting hosts as crop borders may help to improve suppression of both fruit fly species by providing sites for bait spray applications. Further research is needed to assess the use of vegetation bordering other host crops as roosting hosts, especially for oriental fruit fly.
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