Control of Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) with the parasitoid Muscidifurax raptor (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae) in vineyards
The control of Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) has been mostly done with chemical insecticides and some selected natural enemies. However, these control methods are not popular because of the adverse effects of chemical controls and the unreliability of some natural enemies (Spalangia sp. and Pachycrepoideus sp.: Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae). The generalist parasitoid, Muscidifurax raptor (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae), has been used successfully for biological control of the house fly [Musca domestica (Diptera: Muscidae)] pupae in poultry houses. Our study investigated the use of this parasitoid to control C. capitata in a vineyard. Parasitoids were released at rate of 5, 10, and 20 per m2 in a vineyard and in laboratory cages to parasitize pupae of C. capitata and M. domestica, respectively, for 2 days. The number of killed pupae of both host pests increased with the number of released parasitoids in the field. The highest rate of 20 released M. raptor resulted in 23.52% (±0.30 SE) killed pupae, respectively, for house fly and fruit fly. M. raptor parasitized indiscriminately host species of pupae and the daily oviposition rate was 4.9 (±0.07 SE) eggs per female. The parasitoid laid the same number of eggs as when released in poultry houses for the control of M. domestica. We conclude that M. raptor constitutes a promising biocontrol agent for the control of C. capitata in vineyards.