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

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Presentation on theme: "Fruit flies Taxonomy, biology and management (and some key references and names) Paul Ferrar."— Presentation transcript:

1 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, 3 rd instar larva drops to the ground, crawls away (usually into soil) and develops into a pupa (inside hard shell of 3 rd 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: –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 Dont forget: You may only think about fruit flies The farmer has to think about ALL the problems on the crop!


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