Ecology of Bactrocera latifrons (Diptera: Tephritidae) populations: host plants, natural enemies, distribution, and abundance.
An intensive population census of Bactrocera latifrons in Hawaii identified 15 species of suitable host plants (11 solanaceous, 4 cucurbitaceous), 6 of them new host records. Tomato, Solanum nigrescens, S. sodomeum and S. torvum were the most heavily infested host plants in feral habitats. Under backyard and commerical cultivations, Capsicum annuum, Lycopersicon lycopersicum and aubergine were the most heavily infested (larval density and percentage infestation), B. latifrons appears to outcompete B. cucurbitae, B. dorsalis and Ceratitis capitata in Capsicum annuum, C. frutescens, tomato, Physalis peruviana, aubergine, S. nigrescens, S. nigrum, S. sodomeum and S. torvum. Extremely low (<1%) larval parasitism by Diachasmimorpha longicaudata [Biosteres longicaudatus] was observed. Larval parasitism by Tetrastichus sp. was also observed. More than 250 cm average annual cumulative rainfall probably excluded B. latifrons populations from areas where suitable host plants were abundant. Over the study period, the relative abundance of B. latifrons populations decreased as the elevation increased. B. latifrons population density levels were consistently low, and there was no discernible pattern of population fluctuation over time (months of collection). Comprehensive lists of all recorded host plants (world review) and natural enemies of B. latifrons are presented. The ecological attributes of B. latifrons populations and their adaptive significance in colonizing and establishing in new geographic areas are discussed.