In a laboratory study, larvae of the western cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis indifferens Curran, were successfully reared on an artificial diet consisting of wood pulp, agar, wheat germ, Brewer’s yeast, sugar, salt, choline chloride, ascorbic, citric and propionic acids, cholesterol, methyl para-hydroxybenzoate (MPH), and water. Ten other diets consisting of various ingredients obtained variable results. A premixed tropical fruit fly diet (prepared by Nutritional Biochemicals, Cleveland, Ohio) was not suitable for rearing the cherry maggots. Formaldehyde was not satisfactory as a mold inhibitor.
The eggs were obtained on artificial cherries made up of a soft ceresin wax. No oviposition occurred on the other materials tested (candle wax, a regular ceresin wax, beeswax, and silicone). Significantly (5% level) more eggs were deposited on wax cherries of orange, green, and greenish-yellow colors than black, red, white and blue. A laboratory rearing method employing orange colored wax cherries and an artificial larval diet was established for culturing the western cherry fruit flies.