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Fruit Fly

Programme Coordinator:

Dr. Aruna Manrakhan

Collaborating Researchers:

Dr. Tim Grout, Dr. Sean Moore, Dr. Martin Gilbert, John-Henry Daneel, Dr. Chris Weldon

Research Conducted: 

Male Mediterranean fruit fly
Ceratitis capitata

This programme covers the fruit flies of the Ceratitis genus and the relatively new introduction to South Africa, Bactrocera dorsalis. The Natal fruit fly has now been separated into two species, C. rosa and C. quilicii. Current research focusses predominantly on the pre-harvest management of these pests. The M3 bait station is registered for use on all fruit tree crops in South Africa and provides the ultimate means of IPM-compatible fruit fly control but means of improving the technology and reducing its cost are under an advanced stage of investigation. Improved apparatus (the Mantis and Ladybird) for applying concentrated protein baits provide superior control of fruit flies but the availability of the baits themselves is limited, so new bait formulations are being explored. Alternative toxicants to organophosphates for use in fruit fly baits are also being investigated. Although the male annihilation technique using methyl eugenol as an attractant, is being applied commercially for control of B. dorsalis, research is being conducted to better understand and to optimize the technology. Additionally, the biology and ecology of the pest in the field is being studied. Post-harvest disinfestation techniques continue to receive attention. This includes both improved cold treatment protocols and novel GRAS fumigation treatments.