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Seasonal Amounts of Nutrients in Western Cherry Fruit Fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) and Their Relation to Nutrient Availability on Cherry Plant Surfaces

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Relatively little is known about the nutritional ecology of fruit flies in the genus Rhagoletis. In this study, nutrient amounts in male and female western cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis indifferens Curran, and availability of nitrogen and sugar on surfaces of leaves, fruit, and extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) of sweet cherry trees, were determined from late May to late June 2005 and of sugar from EFNs from mid-May to late June 2007 in Washington state. Protein amounts in male and female flies did not differ over the season. Nitrogen was present on leaves, fruit, and EFNs during the sampling period, but amounts on leaves and fruit were lower in late May than the rest of the season. Sugar amounts in flies did not differ over the season. Sugar was present on leaf, fruit, and EFN surfaces all season, but amounts on all three were lower in late May than later in the season. Fructose and glucose were the predominant sugars on all plant surfaces, but sucrose was also present in nectar from EFNs. In outdoor and field cage experiments in 2004 and 2006, more flies survived when cherry branches with leaves and fruit were present than absent. Results suggest that R. indifferens maintains stable protein and sugar levels throughout the season because sufficient amounts of nutrients are found in cherry trees during this time and that increases in nutrient availability caused by ripening and damaged cherries later in the season do not result in increased amounts of nutrients in flies.
Yee, Wee L. , Chapman, Peter S.
Includes references
Environmental entomology 2008 Oct., v. 37, issue 5
Entomological Society of America
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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