Survey of Dacus cucurbitae Coquillett (Diptera: Tephritidae) Infestations in the Cultivated and Weedy Forms of Momordica charantia L. (Cucurbitaceae)

Liquido, Nicanor J.
Cunningham, Roy T.
Nakagawa, Susumu
Uchida, Grant
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Hawaiian Entomological Society
Melon fly, Dacus cucurbitae Coquillett, infestation surveys in bitter melons in Hawaii have been reported from Momordica sp., Momordica charantia L., and Momordica balsamina L. in the Hawaiian entomological literature. However, recent taxonomic studies show that M. Balsamina does not occur in Hawaii; the Hawaiian species is M. charantia. Because of apparent confusion and error in the identity of bitter melons in the Hawaiian literature, we searched for a database which included collections of both the cultivated and weedy forms of M. charantia. The USDA-ARS Tropical Fruit and Vegetable Research Laboratory's data base, archived in Hilo, Hawaii, met this requirement and therefore was used to compare the relative infestation rates of the cultivated and weedy forms of M. charantia by melon fly. Based on mean larvae per fruit, the cultivated form produced more melon flies man the weedy form; while based on mean larvae per weight of fruit, the weedy form produced more melon flies. Melon flies in both forms were more abundant at wet, lower elevations than at drier, higher elevations. The data presented here demonstrate that M. charantia serves as a melon fly host in residential, agricultural and forest ecosystems of Hawaii.
Liquido NJ, Cunningham RT, Nakagawa S, Uchida G. 1990. Survey of Dacus cucurbitae Coquillett (Diptera: Tephritidae) infestations in the cultivated and weedy forms of Momordica charantia L. (Cucurbitaceae). Proc Hawaiian Entomol Soc 30:31-36.
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