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Keywords:

  • Bactrocera cucurbitae;
  • Bactrocera tau;
  • Cucurbitaceae;
  • cue-lure;
  • invasive species;
  • Ryukyu;
  • Zeugodacus

Abstract

Bactrocera synnephes, a fruit fly species common in Taiwan, was first detected in Japan in 2006, when several male adults were trapped at Kanokawa, an uninhabited coastal area of Iriomote Island, Okinawa (200 km from Taiwan). To examine potential colonization by B. synnephes, we collected fruit of the wild gourd Diplocyclos palmatus (Cucurbitaceae), a host of the fruit fly, as well as other cucurbitaceous species, in Kanokawa and other areas of Iriomote Island. No B. synnephes infestation was found on any cucurbitaceous plants. Based on these results, we conclude that B. synnephes had very recently invaded Iriomote Island, possibly from Taiwan, but had failed to colonize. Bactrocera synnephes may have entered Iriomote Island by natural or human-induced means, but a human-induced invasion pathway is less likely in light of the non-pest status of the species in Taiwan. The disappearance of B. synnephes from Iriomote Island may be related to the loss of host fruit as a result of tropical cyclones. Although B. synnephes is not regarded as a pest elsewhere, the pest status of the species is unclear in Okinawa, where no fruit fly pests currently attack commercial cucurbitaceous fruit. We must remain alert for possible re-invasion by B. synnephes.