The natural host plants of Anastrepha (Diptera: Tephritidae) in a tropical rain forest of Mexico.
The relationships between species of Anastrepha and their host plants were recorded and analysed from a study carried out in a natural tropical community of Mexico (Estación de Biología Tropical Los Tuxtlas, Veracruz). The fruits of 55 plant species in the tropical rain forest were sampled with the following associations: Tapirira mexicana was infested with Anastrepha sp. and A. obliqua; Spondias radlkoferi with A. obliqua; Tabernaemontana alba with A. cordata; Quararibea funebris with A. crebra; Inga sapindoides with A. distincta; Brosimum alicastrum and Pseudolmedia oxyphyllaria with A. bahiensis; Psidium guajava [guavas] with A. striata and A. fraterculus; Citrus aurantium [sour orange] and C. maxima with A. ludens; Chrysophyllum mexicanum, Pouteria sapota and Pouteria sp. with A. serpentina. Other species found included A. hamata, A. leptozona and A. minuta, whose hosts in the Los Tuxtlas region are still unknown. Infestation rates were sampled in 10 of the 13 host plants. Of the 3704 fruits examined, 23.1% were infested. Of 2290 larvae, 1600 pupated and parasitoids or adult flies emerged from 85% of these. Infestation percentages of the different fruit species were highly variable, ranging from 1.5% for Pseudolmedia oxyphyllaria to 66.7% for Pouteria sapota. The mean number of larvae/fruit was usually between 1.25 and 2.59, and in only the largest and heaviest fruits (such as sour oranges , P. sapota and Pouteria sp.) were there more than 9.0 larvae present. Some fruit characteristics affecting the degree of infestation are discussed, and the possible existence of a diapause period in some species of Anastrepha is noted.