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Maize more attractive than Napier grass as non-host plants for Bactrocera cucurbitae and Dacus demmerezi

Atiama-Nurbel T., Deguine J.P., Quilici S.. 2012. Anthropod-Plant Interactions, 6 (3) : p. 395-403.

Some species of fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) shelter and roost in non-host plants surrounding crops. The aim of this study was to compare the attractiveness of two plants (Poaceae): maize, Zea mays (Linné) and Napier grass, Pennisetum purpureum (Schumacher) for two species of Dacini damaging cucurbits in Reunion Island: Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett) (Diptera: Tephritidae) and Dacus demmerezi (Bezzi) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Plants of the two plant species were established in pots and presented to adult flies in field cages. In each cage, a cohort consisting of adults of a given species, of known sex and age, was released. For each species, the experiment was replicated four times. The number of adult flies on the different plants as well as their location on the plant was recorded. Maize was more attractive to adults of B. cucurbitae and D. demmerezi than Napier grass irrespective of sex and sexual maturity. Most adults of both species were found under the leaves of maize and Napier grass. The effects of the date, time of day, age, and sex of flies on their attraction to plants are discussed. A possible application of this study would be to use maize as a border plant to apply bait for the control of fruit flies. (Résumé d'auteur)

Thématique : Ravageurs des plantes

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