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Occurrence of late-emerging populations of the blueberry maggot fly (Diptera: Tephritidae)

  • L.A.F. Teixeira (a1) and S. Polavarapu (a1)

Abstract

Monitoring of adult flight patterns of the blueberry maggot fly, Rhagoletis mendax Curran, in New Jersey, indicated that the adults are active over a much longer period than previously reported. Captures on Pherocon AM traps over two seasons in wild sites and commercial fields of highbush blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum L. (Ericaceae), showed that adult flies are present for most of the period from early July to early November. Trap captures in wild sites peaked during July–August, whereas in some commercial fields, peak captures were recorded in September. Emergence patterns were determined by collecting pupae from a wild site and a commercial field at the time of peak fruit infestation. The following year, the wild-site and commercial-field populations showed distinct emergence periods that were in broad agreement with trap captures at these locations. Comparison of an allozyme locus, using individuals collected in commercial blueberry fields, both on Pherocon AM traps and from infested fruit, confirmed that these populations were R. mendax and not any of the sibling species with a similar flight period. These data show that there are considerable phenological differences between some R. mendax populations. Given this plasticity, current debates on evolutionary mechanisms in flies of the genus Rhagoletis Loew should consider that the flight period of R. mendax is probably neither a major limiting factor in the use of hosts with different fruiting schedules nor an effective premating isolation mechanism with respect to other sibling species.

L’analyse de la phénologie des adultes de la Mouche de l’airelle, Rhagoletis mendax Curran, au New Jersey, a révélé que les adultes sont actifs sur une période beaucoup plus longue qu’on ne le croyait à ce jour. Des captures à l’aide de pièges Pherocon AM sur deux saisons à des sites naturels et dans des cultures commerciales de l’airelle en corymbe, Vaccinium corymbosum L. (Ericaceae), ont montré que les adultes sont présents durant presque toute la période qui va du début de juillet au début de novembre. Le maximum de captures a été observé dans les sites naturels en juillet–août, mais seulement en septembre dans certains champs commerciaux. Les patterns d’émergence ont été établis par la récolte de pupes à un site naturel et un site commercial, au moment de l’infestation maximale des fruits. L’année suivante, les populations des deux sites avaient des périodes d’émergence différentes, ce qui correspondait en gros aux captures dans les pièges à ces endroits. La comparaison d’un locus allozymique chez des individus récoltés dans des champs commerciaux, dans les pièges Pherocon AM et dans les fruits infestés, a confirmé qu’il s’agissait bien de R. mendax et non d’une ou l’autre de ses espèces-soeurs à période de vol similaire. Il y a donc des différences importantes dans la phénologie du vol chez certaines populations de R. mendax. Étant donné cette plasticité, il faudra, dans les débats actuels sur les mécanismes évolutifs en opération chez les mouches du genre Rhagoletis Loew, tenir compte du fait que la période de vol chez R. mendax n’est pas un facteur limitant important dans l’exploitation d’hôtes à calendriers de fructification différents, ni un mécanisme d’isolement de l’insecte de ses espèces-soeurs avant l’accouplement.

[Traduit par la Rédaction]

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Corresponding author

1 Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed (E-mail: polavarapu@aesop.rutgers.edu).

References

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Occurrence of late-emerging populations of the blueberry maggot fly (Diptera: Tephritidae)

  • L.A.F. Teixeira (a1) and S. Polavarapu (a1)

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