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The Oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis is serious pest of fruit crops. It is native to Asia but now lives in more than 30 Asian and Oceanic countries, and is treated as a threat in many others with tropical or sub-tropical climates. In the US, it has invaded and been eradicated multiple times in California, occurs in small numbers annually in Florida, and is widespread in Hawaii (since about 1945). An established population was eradicated from Mauritius in the 1990s. Quarantine and eradication programs are vigilant in the US to ensure that flies carried in on cargo or passenger baggage are not able to establish themselves, as Oriental fruit flies are fast growing (the life cycle takes about 16 days in summer), long lived and have high reproductive potential (females typically lay 1500 eggs in their lives, but can lay up to 3000). Bactrocera dorsalis has a wide host range on over 150 fruit and vegetable crops, the most common being: citrus, guava, mango, papaya, avocado, banana, loquat, tomato, surinam cherry, rose-apple, passion fruit, persimmon, pineapple, peach, pear, apricot, fig, apple, melon and coffee. Females lay eggs under ripe fruit’s skin (although they also will lay in green fruit) and larvae destroy the fruit by feeding on it as they develop. In Hawaii, the Oriental fruit fly destroys about 13% of fruit yields annually. Insecticides, sterile male releases, and introduced parasitoids have been variously used to control and eradicate populations.

(CABI 2011; Weems et al. 2010; Wikipedia 2010)


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