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Abstract

Persistent interception of a Dipteran larva in shipments of hot pepper (Capsicum chinense) from Jamaica to the United States of America (USA) in recent years, has led to the imposition of mandatory fumigation of the commodity prior to export. The insect has been identified both as Contarinia lycopersici, a tomato pest of quarantine importance to the USA and Prodiplosis longifilia a citrus pest restricted in that country to Florida. The present study compares the pepper midges in Jamaica with C. lycopersici and P. longifilia based on morphological characteristics and host infestation. Preliminary results derived from comparative morphological examination of adult males, suggest that the pepper gall midges of Jamaica are distinguishable from C. lycopersici and P. longifilia. There is an urgent need to identify and or describe the species present in order to develop a management strategy for the pest.

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