Attraction of nontarget species to fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) male lures and decaying fruit flies in traps in Hawaii.
Synthetic male lures are commonly used to monitor and mass trap pestiferous fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae: Dacinae). However, there has been much dispute as to the nontarget impacts of such lures on beneficial and native insects. To evaluate nontarget attraction effects, traps baited with Cue-Lure and methyl eugenol were maintained and emptied weekly in a range of native and non-native forest and commercial orchard and backyard sites on Hawaii and Maui Islands. Lure trap captures were compared against those from unbaited control traps and traps artificially baited with decaying fruit flies to mimic the effect of accumulation of dead trapped target flies in male lure traps. Cue-Lure did not attract nontargets, and methyl eugenol attracted low but significant numbers of five species of flower-associated insects (honey bees, syrphid flies, nitidulid beetles, and endemic crambid moths) and two endemic Hawaiian species of sciarids (Diptera) and mirids (Hemiptera). Saprophagous nontargets, mostly Diptera, were abundant and diverse in traps baited with decaying flies and in male lure traps where accumulation of dead flies occurred but not in male lure traps with few or no fruit fly captures. Most of the previously published records of attraction to methyl eugenol are shown to actually be secondary attraction to decaying fruit flies. Endemic nontargets were collected in native and adjacent forest, but almost exclusively invasive species were attracted to traps placed in non-native habitats. Attraction of flower-associated species may be minimized if methyl eugenol traps are placed in trees after flowering season in orchards.