PC in paw paw?

swvirginiadave(z6 VA)October 4, 2012

I've seen something I've never seen before this year--insect larvae inside ripe paw paws. Two paw paws from separate trees each had a single small white larvae about 1/3 inch long with associated tunnels and dark, relatively dry, granular frass. The fruits were fully ripe and only a limited part was affected. My best guess is Plum curculio based on the appearance (They were all over the few apples I got this year since they didn't have any stone fruit to bite I guess) but I can't find any information suggesting PC infests paw paws. Anyone else seen this or know of any reports of PC or something similar eating paw paw fruit? Sorry, no pictures; the critters are long gone.

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My pawpaw fruited for the 3yrs without any pet problem. Maybe this is a one time thing.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 12:11AM
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I have never seen a larvae inside any of mine though I have seen on a very few fruits tunneling from a seed where it looked like one could have been. I remember seeing a video/youtube by Chris Chmiel of Integration acres in Ohio where he is picking up pawpaws on his property and he breaks one open to eat and knocks out a larvae in the fruit. I am not sure what type larvae this would be but Kirk Pomper at KSU likely would. I sure hope this remains a rare sight.
I have noticed on the few fruits with tunneling from the seed there will be a small dark rough spot on the surface of the fruit where the larvae/insect/whatever has exited.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 2:08PM
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franktank232(z5 WI)

It wouldn't shock me (to see them in paw paw), especially if there wasn't much fruit around for them to chose from...although given that paw paw is a native N American fruit and so are PC, you've got to wonder if the plant has evolved to keep PC awaY?

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 2:50PM
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swvirginiadave(z6 VA)

Thanks for the replies and suggestion to ask Dr.Pomper. I would have expected paw paw to be resistant to PC as its toxins seem to prevent most insect pests quite well. Maybe you're right, Franktank, that the absence of preferred host plant fruits pushed a few to that which would otherwise be avoided. I was quite surprised, though, since I've never encountered it before. I've seen ants on them when the skin was breeched and slugs work on them on the ground, but never anything inside the fruit before.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 9:35PM
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