Morpho-molecular identification and a new host report of Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) from the Kashmir valley (India).
The Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) is here reported to infest apple, apricot, nectarine, pear, peach and quince fruits from the Kashmir valley. Infestation to quince plants (Cydonia oblonga) constitutes a new global host record and to apple perhaps only the fifth known field infestation to be reported. The host suitability of the species on apple and quince was confirmed with harvested fruits, under cage rearing experiments. In field orchards, the fruit fly infestation for stated crops revealed a cumulative incidence and severity percentages of 17.33% and 6.44% respectively. All the specimens collected across different crops showed consistent morphological characters and were identified as one species. However, in light of the economic importance of the species, morphological studies were also integrated with molecular analysis for accurate identification of the species. The morphological characters and sequence results of amplified product of ITS1 and COX1 gene confirmed occurrence of single fruit fly species as B. dorsalis. Simulated future predictions along with notes on biology of the pest are discussed in light of the available literature. The future prospects regarding studies on population dynamics, host preferential selection, temperature dependency etc. will require a comprehensive understanding from the region.