Drawing of male B. melanotus (Drawing: M. Romig)
DISTRIBUTION: Endemic to Cook Islands, present in the Southern Island group.
HOST PLANTS: It attacks 38 species of hosts, in 28 genera and 20 families: Detailed host list.
BIOLOGY: Adults mate in late morning to early afternoon, when light intensity is highest. Eggs are laid in ripening fruits on trees and also on fallen fruits. Rate of development on papaya-based diet and in whole fruit was studied in Cook Islands. The species is more common inland than along coastal areas. Population peaks occur in June and July.
This species is kept in laboratory colonies in Cook Islands. Heat tolerance studies were completed and published in Cook Islands. Late eggs of B. melanotus is the most heat tolerant of all species and stages of development studied so far in the Pacific.
ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE: In Cook Islands, B. melanotus and B. xanthodes both infest papaya, and losses by both species are 12% during the Summer and 1% during the Winter.
MALE LURE: Cue-lure.
QUARANTINE SURVEILLANCE: Cue-lure trapping and regular host fruit surveys of high risk species, especially breadfruit, guava, mango, Tahitian chestnut, Syzygium apples and tropical almond.
OPTIONS FOR RESPONSE (If newly discovered in a country): Increased trapping, increased host fruit sampling, restriction of fruit movement, protein bait spraying, male annihilation.
CONTROL: Fruit bagging, protein bait spraying, destruction of fallen and overripe fruits, early harvest of mature green fruits.
Drew, R.A.I. 1989.The tropical fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae: Dacinae) of the Australasian and Oceanian regions. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. Volume 26. 521 pp. (Description and illustration).
Kassim, A., Allwood, A.J. 1994. Fruitflies and their control in Cook Islands. South Pacific Commission Pest Advisory Leaflet. 8pp. (Extension leaflet with good overview of B. melanotus).
Leweniqila, L., Allwood, A.J., Kassim, A., Tora Vueti, E., Ralulu, L., Walker, G. 1997. Results of protein bait spraying in Fiji and Cook Islands. pp.183-186 in: Allwood, A.J., and Drew, R.A I., Management of fruit flies in the Pacific. ACIAR Proceedings No 76. 267pp. (Control on guava).
Leweniqila, L., Heimoana, V., Purea, M., Munro, L., Allwood, A.J., Ralulu, L., Tora Vueti, E. 1997. Seasonal abundances of Bactrocera facialis (Coquillett), B. passiflorae (Froggatt), B. xanthodes (Broun) and B. melanotus (Coquillett) in orchard and forest habitats. pp.121-124 in: Allwood, A.J., and Drew, R.A I., Management of fruit flies in the Pacific. ACIAR Proceedings No 76. 267pp. (Ecology, seasonal abundance).
Purea, M., Putoa, R., Munro, E. 1997. Fruit fly fauna in the Cook Islands and French Polynesia. pp.54-56 in: Allwood, A.J., and Drew, R.A I., Management of fruit flies in the Pacific. ACIAR Proceedings No 76. 267pp. (Seasonal abundance, hosts).
Waddell, B., Clare, G.K., Petry, R.J., Maindonald, J.H., Purea, M., Wigmore, W., Joseph, P., Fullerton, R.A., Batchelor, T.A., Lay-Yee, M. 1997. Quarantine heat treatments for Bactrocera melanotus (Coquillett) and B. xanthodes (Broun) (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Waimanalo papaya in the Cook Islands. pp.251-255 in: Allwood, A.J., and Drew, R.A I., Management of fruit flies in the Pacific. ACIAR Proceedings No 76. 267pp. (Ecology, seasonal abundance).