Fopius ceratitivorus Wharton, 1999
See comments under Fopius silvestrii species group on the Fopius page.
The Fopius silvestrii species group is currently defined largely by the absence of features that define the other Fopius species groups: the second metasomal tergum is unsculptured and the setae on the ovipositor sheath are not reduced. Within this group, F. ceratitivorus is most readily characterized by its uniformly pale coloration. See the original description of this species by Wharton (1999) for additional information.
Diagnosis and Relationships
A tabular summary of morphological features that facilitates comparison of the known species of Fopius is provided by Wharton (1999).
It is known only from Kenya and extreme northeastern South Africa in its native range. It was subsequently cultured in Guatemala and Hawaii for release against Medfly.
Biology / Hosts
Biology and Behavior
Rearing information has been published by Lopez et al. (2003) based on material sent to Guatemala from Kenya. This species is capable of ovipositing both in host eggs and in first instar larvae. Following its introduction to Hawaii, additional information on host range and other basic biological features was published by Bokonon-Ganta et al. (2005).
Biology - Host Range Testing
The potential impact of F. ceratitivorus and 2 other tephritid egg-larval parasitoids (F. caudatus and F. arisanus) on a nontarget flowerhead-feeding tephritid, Trupanea dubautiae, was evaluated by Wang et al. (2004). This tephritid species is critical for pollination of certain native plants in Hawaii. In laboratory experiments, no evidence of parasitism of T. dubautiae by any of the 3 parasitoids was observed.
According to Kuslitzky et al. (2011), Fopius ceratitivorus was introduced to Israel, where it attacks medfly, Ceratitis capitata and olive fly, Bactrocera oleae.