Visual responses of apple maggot flies, Rhagoletis pomonella (Diptera: Tephritidae): Orchard studies

  • Prokopy R
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Abstract

Apple maggot flies, Rhagoletis pomonella, were found to be highly responsive to visual stimuli, with maximum responses dependent upon color, shape, and size characteristics of the stimulus. Each sex had a significant preference for yellow 30×40 cm rectangles over green, orange, red, blue, violet, black, white and clear rectangles of the same size. On the other hand, each sex had a significant preference for red, blue, violet, dark organge, and black spheres 7.5 cm in diameter over green, light orange, yellow, white, and clear spheres of the same size. Both sexes had a significant preference for 7.5 cm spheres over equivalent-sized cubes, cylinders and rectangles. As the diameter of a sphere was increased from 7.5 to 45 cm, there was an orderly and significant decrease in the attractiveness of those that were darkcolored (red) but a progressive and significant increase in the attractiveness of those that were yellow. The flies did not congregate on trees with apples or respond strongly to 7.5 cm, darkcolored spheres until they were sexually mature (at least in the case of females). Relative to other colors, females were often significantly more attracted than males to yellow. The attractiveness of an olfactory stimulus eliciting feeding-type reactions was enhanced to a substantial degree when employed in conjunction with a 30×40 cm yellow rectangle, but to only a very slight degree when in conjunction with a 7.5 cm red sphere.

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Authors

  • Ronald J. Prokopy

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