The Mango Fruit Fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, belonging to the Family Tephritidae of the Order Diptera, is native to South-east Asia. It is a major concern because it can impair the quality of the fruit by leaving behind many small, soft, and often unmarketable fruits. In addition, the pest is also a vector for several other diseases, including mango malformation disease, mango wilt disease, and mango leaf curl disease.
To effectively manage this pest, it is important to understand its life cycle, its preferred habitats, and the best methods for controlling it. This article will provide an overview and discussion of the Mango Fruit Fly Pest in Mango crops, including its symptoms, identification techniques, and control.
Mango Fruit Fly Pest Management
Life Cycle of Mango Fruit Fly Pest in Mango Crop
The life cycle of the mango fruit fly pest has four stages. They are egg, maggot, pupa, and adult. The life cycle of the mango fruit fly pest in mango crops typically begins when adults lay their eggs just beneath the skin of mango fruits. The eggs hatch into maggots within two days. They feed on the fruits and damage their pulp and skin. The maggots then undergo three instars within two weeks before pupating.
The maggots mature in the cocoon and pupate inside the soil, and adults emerge from it in around 10-12 days in April. The female adults mate after developing completely and start laying eggs inside the fruits within eight days from emergence, and the population reaches its peak in May-July. The cycle then starts all over again.
Occurrence of Mango Fruit Fly Pest in Mango Crop
- Location of Mango Fruit Fly pest: This pest infests mango crops in India, Africa, Mexico, the United States, Brazil, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Australia, China, South-East Asia, Indonesia, and Taiwan.
- Host range: The pest is a polyphagous feeder; it primarily infests mango crops and also feeds on other crops such as banana, guava, cashew, citrus, papaya, passion fruit, peach, apricot, pear, ber, cherry, avocado, strawberry, jackfruit, melons, and coffee.
Factors Favoring the Population Increase of Mango Fruit Fly Pest in Mango Crop
- The warm climate of the tropics is ideal for the mango fruit fly to thrive. The hot and humid conditions facilitate the rapid growth of the larvae.
- Large amounts of organic matter in the soil provide an ideal breeding ground for the mango fruit fly. The decaying organic matter provides a rich source of nutrition for the larvae, allowing them to grow quickly.
- The large number of mature fruits in the crop makes it ideal for the female flies to lay their eggs in.
- Lack of predators allows the mango fruit fly to multiply and cause significant damage to the crop.
- Using chemical insecticides can kill the natural predators of the mango fruit fly, allowing the pest to thrive in the absence of its predators.
Identification of Mango Fruit Fly Pest in Mango Crop
- Eggs: The eggs are white, about 1mm in diameter, elliptical, and laid in clusters.
- Larva: The larvae are small and white, have a distinct head and thorax, and are legless.
- Adults: The adult Mango Fruit fly Pest is about 6-10 mm long and yellowish-brown. It has a distinct white spot on the thorax, four black spots on its transparent wings, and yellow legs.