Effect of soil type and soil water content levels on pupal mortality of the peach fruit fly [Bactrocera zonata (Saunders)] (Diptera: Tephritidae).
Peach fruit fly (PFF), Bactrocera zonata, is one of the most dangerous pests of horticultural crops worldwide. This pest spends part of its life cycle in the soil as pre-pupae and pupae. Therefore, the effects of soil type and soil water content levels (SWCLs) on pupal mortality rates of the PFF were studied in an attempt to use soil moisture as an abiotic management strategy for this pest. The effect of clay, loamy, and sandy soils with SWCL of 0, 10, 25, 50, 75, 90, and 100% of field capacity on three ages of PFF pupae (newly formed, 4- and 7-day-old pupae) were studied. Results demonstrated significant effects of SWCLs on pupal mortality rates of PFF. SWCL was the factor with the most remarkable effect (48.47%), meanwhile soil type had a feeble effect (0.65%). Newly formed pupae were more susceptible to SWCL levels than 7- and 4-day-old pupae. Results suggest that sustaining SWCL near 100% of field capacity significantly (p=0.000) suppressed PFF population; therefore it could be an important component of Integrated Pest Management against this insect species.