Mediterranean fruit fly population phenological patterns are strongly affected by elevation and host presence


The Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) (Ceratitis capitata, Diptera: Tephritidae), is an extremely polyphagous pest that threatens the fruit production and trading industry worldwide. Monitoring C. capitata populations and analysing its dynamics and phenology is considered of outmost importance for designing and implementing sound management approaches. The aim of this study was to investigate the factors regulating the population dynamics of the C. capitata in a coastal and semi-mountainous area. We focused on effects of topography (e.g. elevation), host presence and seasonal patterns of ripening on the phenological patterns considering data collected in 2008. The experimental area is characterized by mixed fruit orchards, and Mediterranean climate with mild winters. Two trap types were used for population monitoring. The female targeted McPhail type and the male targeted Jackson type. Traps were placed in farms located at different elevations and landscape morphology (coastal and semi-mountainous areas). The main crops included citrus, apples, peaches, plums, pears, figs, quinces and apricots. Adult captures were first recorded in May, peaked in mid-summer and mid-autumn and almost ceased at the end of the season (January 2008). Captures in the coastal areas preceded that of highlands by 15 days. Most of the adults detected during the fruit ripening of late stone fruit cultivars (first peak) and citrus (second peak). The probability of capturing the first adults preceded almost three weeks the peak of adult captures either considering the elevation or host focus analyses. The results provide valuable information on the seasonal population trend of C. capitata in mixed fruit Mediterranean orchards and can support the set-up of IPM systems in areas with various landscapes and different hosts throughout the fruit growing season.

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Vasilis G. Rodovitis , Eleni Verykouki , Kostas D. Zarpas , Stella A. Papanastasiou, Cleopatra A. Moraiti , Nikos Patronis & Nikos T. Papadopoulos


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