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Revista Colombiana de Entomología

Print version ISSN 0120-0488

Rev. Colomb. Entomol. vol.38 no.2 Bogotá July/Dec. 2012


First report of Lonchaeidae (Diptera) infesting fruits
of Byrsonima crassifolia in Brazil

Primer registro de Lonchaeidae (Diptera) infestando frutos de Byrsonima crassifolia en Brasil


1 Doutor, Embrapa Amapá, Rodovia JK, km 5, nº 2600, 68903-419 Macapá, Amapá, Brasil., autor para correspondencia.
2 Mestre, Independent Researcher, Av. Paschoal Ardito, n. 886, 13473-010 Americana, São Paulo, Brasil,
3 Doutor, Instituto Biológico, Centro Experimental Central do Instituto Biológico, Rodovia Heitor Penteado, km 3, Laboratório de Entomologia Econômica, Vila Brandina, 13092-543 Campinas, São Paulo, Brasil,
4 Engenheiro Florestal, Universidade do Estado do Amapá, Avenida Presidente Getúlio Vargas, nº 650, Centro, 68906-970 Macapá, Amapá, Brasil,
5 Doutor, Instituto de Ecología A.C., Carretera antigua a Coatepec 351, El Haya, 91070 Xalapa, Veracruz, México,

Received: 15-May-2012 - Accepted: 4-Oct-2012

Abstract: Neosilba zadolicha and Neosilba bella (Diptera: Lonchaeidae) are reported for the first time in fruits of Byrsonima crassifolia (Malpighiaceae) in Brazil. They are considered occasional species on this tropical fruit.

Key words: Neosilba bella.Neosilba zadolicha. Murici. Amazon. Flies.

Resumen: Se registran por primera vez Neosilba zadolicha y Neosilba bella (Diptera: Lonchaeidae) en frutos de Byrsonima crassifolia (Malpighiaceae) en Brasil. Se consideran como especies ocasionales en este fruto tropical.

Palabras clave: Neosilba bella. Neosilba zadolicha. Murici. Amazonía. Moscas.

Murici, Byrsonima crassifolia (L.) Kunth (Malpighiaceae), is native to the Amazon region and several other regions of tropical America. The fruits are small globose drupes with fleshy yellow mesocarp (pulp) and characteristic flavor and aroma. They are consumed fresh as juice, jam, liquor and sweets (León 1968; Donadio et al. 2002; Lorenzi et al. 2006). In addition, fruits of this species have been widely used in the traditional medicine by its antimicrobial and antidepressant properties (Martínez-Vázquez et al. 1999; Herrera-Ruiz et al. 2011).

The only record of fruit flies (Diptera) associated to fruits of B. crassifolia in Brazil was published by Pereira et al. (2008) from material collected in the state of Amapá during 2005 and 2006. In their work, a total number of 7,915 fruits (16.02 kg) was collected in 24 sampling points distributed in the municipalities of Macapá, Mazagão and Porto Grande. Three samples were infested by fruit flies of the family Tephritidae (one in Macapá, 0.01 puparia/fruit; two in Mazagão, 0.10 and 0.15 puparia/fruit). Anastrepha striata Schiner, 1868 (10 specimens), A. obliqua (Macquart, 1835) (8 specimens) and A. fraterculus (Wiedemann, 1830) (3 specimens) were recovered in those collections. In other samples of B. crassifolia collected in the Brazilian Amazon (states of Amapá and Rondônia), no fruit flies specimens were obtained(Deus et al. 2009; Pereira et al. 2010; Silva et al. 2011a). In Mexico, the presence of A. serpentina (Wiedemann, 1830)in B. crassifolia was recorded in the state of Chiapas (Aluja et al. 1987). However, the presence of Lonchaeidae (Diptera) species in B. crassifolia was not recorded in either study.

During May, June, September, and November 2009 we collected 22 samples of B. crassifolia (15 individualized fruits per sampling point, totaling 330 fruits and 0.70 kg), in the state of Amapá (Macapá, Porto Grande, Ferreira Gomes, Mazagão and Santana), following Silva et al. (2011b). Only one specimen of Neosilba zadolicha Steyskal & McAlpine, 1982 (Lonchaeidae) was recovered from one individualized fruit collected in Porto Grande (00º42’44.3”N 51º21’40,1”W, 87 masl) in May, 06 2009. In the samples, no Anastrepha specimens were recovered from any of the collected fruits.

In order to confirm if B. crassifolia could be an alternative host for Lonchaeidae in the Brazilian Amazon, a new collection of 747 fruits (1188.9 g) in six different sample points (non-individualized fruits) was carried out in Porto Grande, Amapá, from September 2010 to January 2011. Three samples were infested by frugivorous flies and 13 puparia were recovered from the fruits. Seven males of Neosilba bella Strikis & Prado, 2006 and four females probably of the same species emerged from the puparia in two samples (Table 1). The indexes of infestation were 0.03 and 0.06 puparia/fruit. No Anastrepha specimens were recorded.

This is the first report of Neosilba bella and N. zadolicha in B. crassifolia in Brazil. Voucher specimens were deposited in the personal collection of P.C. Strikis.

Neosilba zadolicha has a wide distribution in Brazil, from the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul to northern Brazil, occupying a wide range of hosts and ecosystems, the type series of N. zadolicha was reared from fruits in Colombia. Neosilba bella is known only from Brazil, also occurring in all regions of the country, in many different biomes, and has a narrower range of hosts than N. zadolicha. In the Brazilian Amazon, where this work was carried out, 11 and 6 hosts for N. zadolicha and N. bella have been recorded, respectively (Strikis et al. 2011). So far, only Nicácio and Uchôa (2011) have reported the presence of a specimen of Neosilba sp. in Byrsonima orbignyana, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. The not identified species of Lonchaeidae was associated with Anastrepha sororcula Zucchi, 1979.

In our study, all emerged Neosilba were not associated with Tephritidae species. Although previously Lonchaeidae were considered secondary fruit infesters that commonly use the wounds made by other tephritid flies, our results are in accordance with several authors (see Nicacio and Uchoa 2011) that disagree with this information. The low presence of specimens of Neosilba and Anastrepha in B. crassifolia, and its bounded geographical distribution, indicates that this fruit seems to be an alternative host for this species that is occasionally used when probably no other primary host is present.


To the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico - CNPq for the Research Productivity Fellowship (granted to RA) and for the Undergraduate Research Fellowship (granted to CRL).

Literature cited

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