Suppression of melon fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) populations with releases of Fopius arisanus and Psyttalia fletcheri (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in North Shore Oahu, HI, USA.
Field experiments and surveys were conducted to evaluate the efficacy of releasing Fopius arisanus (Sonan) and Psyttalia fletcheri (Silvestri) parasitoids for suppression of Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett) infesting wild Coccinia grandis L. In 2003 and 2004, P. fletcheri releases combined with natural emergence from wild fly populations resulted in better fly suppression, compared to the control site. While P. fletcheri developed freely on melon fly, F. arisanus was less successful at producing its own progeny, yet causing mortality and a twofold decrease in pupae recovered from ivy gourds. Concurrent releases of both parasitoids exerted a compounded suppressive effect on the melon fly population 2-3 times higher than during the pre-release phase. A similar, less obvious, pattern occurred in 2004, due to reduction of the ivy gourd fruit canopy. In 2005, only P. fletcheri was released, with greatly reduced impact, due to ivy gourd destruction and by growers leaving crop culls in fields, producing large numbers of melon flies unaffected by parasitoid releases.