Soft fruits are economically important crops for many areas worldwide and are sensitive to a large number of arthropod pests, including several Tephritidae flies. Since soft fruits are consumed by a broad array of consumers, high safety standards are required to improve health requirements. In particular, develop of new eco-friendly strategies to control tephritid pests is recommended. Behavioral ecology in Tephritidae is widely investigated, but little is known about their pre-courtship and mating behavior. Here we focused on reviewing current knowledge about sexual communication in tephritids infesting soft fruits (TISF). Firstly, we reviewed lek dynamics and male-male aggression in TISF occurring in precourtship behaviors. Thus, mating behavior sequences were examined, with special reference to physical (visual, vibrational and acoustical) and chemical cues (sex pheromones and parapheromones) leading mating dynamics. Lastly, current and potential IPM applications to control TISF are delineated, specially focusing to improvement of monitoring, to sterile insect technique and “lure and kill” tools, including improvement of male annihilation technique with the application of sprayable specialized pheromones and lures.
Keywords: Rhagoletis mendax, lure and kill, monitoring assays, sex pheromones, Sterile Insect Technique