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Keywords:

  • fruit fly baits;
  • GF-120;
  • non-target impact;
  • spinosad toxicity

Abstract

A spinosad-based fruit fly bait, GF-120, has recently become a primary tool for area-wide suppression or eradication of pest tephritid fruit flies. The present study assessed the attraction and feeding of five non-target fly species to GF-120 in Hawaii. These non-target flies include three beneficial tephritid species [Eutreta xanthochaeta (Aldrich), Tetreuaresta obscuriventris (Loew), Ensina sonchi (L.)] introduced for weed biological control, an endemic Hawaiian tephritid [Trupanea dubautiae (Bryan)] (all Diptera: Tephritidae) and the cosmopolitan Drosophila melanogaster Meigen (Diptera: Drosophilidae). All five non-target fly species were susceptible to GF-120, as was the target pest Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann). Feeding on, or even brief tasting of, GF-120 killed all fly species within 2 h. When individual flies were provided with a choice of GF-120 or honey solution, there was no difference in the frequency of first food encounter by E. xanthochaeta, D. melanogaster or C. capitata. The other three non-target species approached honey more often than GF-120 in their first food encounter. Feeding times on GF-120 and honey were not significantly different for D. melanogaster and C. capitata, while the other four non-target species fed longer on honey than on GF-120. There was no significant difference in feeding time on honey versus GF-120 between males and females of each species. These results suggest that area-wide treatment using GF-120 for the purpose of eradication of pest fruit flies has potential negative impacts on these and other non-target fly species in Hawaii. Copyright © 2006 Society of Chemical Industry