Host preference of the peach fruit fly, Bactrocera zonata (Saunders) (Diptera: Tephritidae), under laboratory conditions.
Background and Objective: Peach fruit fly (PFF), Bactrocera zonata (Diptera: Tephritidae) is an invasive insect species in Egypt, which is classified as a polyphagous insect-pest of horticulture crops. The objective of the present study was to determine the host preference of the PFF if given the choice between hosts. Materials and Methods: The host preference of the PFF among 11 available kinds of plant fruits was studied under laboratory conditions and expressed as a number of forming pupae, pupal weight, deformity and adult emergence percentage. Obtained data were tabulated and analyzed statistically using CoStat 4.2. One-way ANOVA in a completely randomized design was generated for treatments and means were by Tukey-Kramer test (qs) at 0.05 probability. Results: The results revealed that mango was significantly the most preferred host among tested fruits (FG) based on the number of pupae produced/host (108.33 pupae/500 g), followed by apricot with 103.33 pupae. Significantly, the least formed rates (14.66 pupae) and weight (10.0 mg) of pupae was obtained from apple, whereas, it had the highest adult emergence percentage (95.82%). Among the tested fruits of vegetables (VG), okra was significantly the most preferable host with 38.33 pupae and adult emergence with 85.25%. In case fruits mixed with vegetables (FVG), mango fruits were statistically the highest preferred too, with 123.66 pupae, while cucumber was not infected whether in case of VG or FVG. Conclusion: The results revealed that mango was the most preferred host of PFF among treated fruits of FG and among FVG. Okra fruits were significantly the most preferable among tested fruits of VG, while cucumber was categorized as a non host for the PFF. This study gives important information which confirms the presence or absence of this species of fruit flies in an area, that is useful in the integrated pest management (IPM) practices.