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Taxonomy, biology and management

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Presentation on theme: "Taxonomy, biology and management"— Presentation transcript:

1 Taxonomy, biology and management
Fruit flies Taxonomy, biology and management (and some key references and names) Paul Ferrar

2 Fruit fly taxonomy Order Diptera (flies) Family Tephritidae
Subfamily Dacinae Genus Bactrocera Contains most of the important pest species of Asia and the South Pacific Genus Dacus also important in Africa

3 Important Bactrocera species
Bactrocera dorsalis – Oriental fruit fly A complex of closely related species: Bactrocera dorsalis (many hosts) Bactrocera papayae (many hosts) Bactrocera carambolae (many hosts) and others (at least 75 different species so far) Bactrocera cucurbitae – melon fly (in cucurbits) Bactrocera tau – also in cucurbits Bactrocera latifrons – solanum fruit fly Bactrocera minax – citrus fruit fly

4 Important Bactrocera species
Bactrocera occipitalis – mango, guava, citrus Bactrocera philippinensis – mango, papaya, jackfruit Bactrocera umbrosa – jackfruit, breadfruit Bactrocera zonata – hosts in Family Rosaceae, including peach, but also other families

5 Oriental fruit fly complex
For general management purposes, probably OK to regard all members of complex as Bactrocera dorsalis But where export crops are concerned, exact species must be known – quarantine authorities will insist on it

6 Fruit fly life cycle Eggs – female lays into fruit with a sharp, pointed ovipositor – may also inject fruit-rotting bacteria Larvae – three larval instars – feed in fruit When fully fed, 3rd instar larva drops to the ground, crawls away (usually into soil) and develops into a pupa (inside hard shell of 3rd instar larval skin, called a puparium)

7 Attractants and trapping
Male lures – main ones are: Methyl eugenol (ME) Cuelure Female lures (not developed yet) Protein baits – hydrolysed protein including yeast Lynfield traps Steiner traps

8 Lynfield trap

9 Steiner trap

10 Fruit fly damage Larval tunnelling and feeding damages fruit
Bacteria also enter and rot the fruit faster Crop losses can be from a few per cent to 100%

11 Management of fruit flies
Cover spraying Advantage: Effective Disadvantages: Very expensive in pesticide Very time-consuming in labour Kills beneficial organisms/harms environment Harms health of farmer doing the spraying Can leave chemical residues in fruit

12 Management of fruit flies
Bagging Fruit is covered with a layer of some material Advantages: Effective when applied properly Often increases fruit quality (and price) Materials usually cheap Disadvantage: Very laborious to apply

13 Bagging of fruit

14 Cultural controls Grow less susceptible varieties
Harvest fruit early (before fruit fly attack occurs Crop hygiene and sanitation – clear away old, fallen, infested fruits

15 Protein bait spraying Dilute protein bait is mixed with pesticide
Was malathion, now chlorpyrifos, fipronil or Spinosad Small squirt or splash is applied to leaves of trees scattered through orchard Not necessary to treat every tree – flies are attracted over a considerable distance

16 Protein bait spraying Advantages: Disadvantages: Cheap in materials
Much safer for health of operator Less pesticide into environment No impact on non-target organisms No risk of residues when applied correctly Disadvantages: Still needs labour, though much less than bagging or cover-spraying May need to be repeated during fruit cycle

17 Protein bait spraying To show farmers how well it works:
Put a white sheet on the ground under leaves that have been sprayed with protein bait/insecticide Many dead flies will accumulate!

18 Other techniques for control
Male annihilation Many blocks impregnated with male attractant and pesticide are distributed widely Males feed on these and die Females remain unfertilised and cannot breed Not suited to individual farmer use

19 Other techniques for control
Sterile insect technique Huge numbers of sterile males are released in an area Females mate with them and remain unfertilised – cannot breed Million dollar operation Not suited to individual farmer use

20 Case study in northern Vietnam
Peaches were promoted as an alternative to opium Grow well in climate of northern Vietnam, but 100% of crop was destroyed by Bactrocera pyrifoliae Bait spraying was introduced, and losses now reduced to < 5% Young children have now seen their first ever ripe peaches!

21 Contacts and references
Paper distributed contains various references to key works on fruit flies that may be of help Also key institutions and scientists that may be able to help Dr S. Vijaysegaran – wide expertise in Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australia

22 Methods for identifying fruit flies
Morphological versus molecular See Appendix of paper for some notes on this Review paper on Bactrocera dorsalis complex:

23 PERCEPTIONS Don’t forget: You may only think about fruit flies
The farmer has to think about ALL the problems on the crop!


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