Behavioral responses of female Bactrocera oleae flies to honeydew

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Abstract: Sugar and protein-rich natural products have long been used as baits for tephritid fruit flies. Honeydew, a sugar-rich secretion produced by Sternorrhyncha may serve as an alternative source of food-based lure for adult tephritids. In the present study, bioassays were conducted to determine the behavioral responses of female olive fruit fly to honeydew excreted by Saissetia oleae (Olivier) (Hemiptera: Coccidae), Euphyllura sp. (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), Aleurothrixus floccosus (Mask.) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) and Icerya purchasi Maskell (Hemiptera: Monophlebidae) as well as to two commercially available attractants of hydrolyzed protein Dacus bait 100 SL and Entomela 50 SL. The behavioral responses of a female were continually observed for 24 h after its introduction in a cage, in no-choice or two-choice laboratory tests. A digital camera system was used for long-term uninterrupted time-lapse photography and filming began immediately after the female was inserted into the cage. The behavioral responses recorded were: i) the initial choice/selection of the female (honeydew or the hydrolyzed protein); ii) the time required for first selection iii) the duration of feeding on each food resource and iv) the number of feeding events per food resource. The results indicated that female flies were more attracted and fed more frequently and for longer period on the honeydew excreted by A. floccosus, I. purchasi, S. ╬┐leae, or Euphyllura sp. than to hydrolyzed proteins Dacus bait and Entomela. Therefore, the tested honeydews showed promising results in the attraction of olive fly females and thus, their potential to be used as sources of new attractants should be further investigated.

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