Crops > Fruits & nuts > Syzygium malaccense > Bactrocera dorsalis, Feevah, Maldives

Crops > Fruits & nuts > Syzygium malaccense > Bactrocera dorsalis, Feevah, Maldives

Crops Fruits & nuts Syzygium malaccense Bactrocera dorsalis, Feevah, Maldives

Batrocera dorsalis, Feevah, Maldives

April 2015. Images were sent of fruit fly damage to mango on Feevah (Shaviyani) atoll, Maldives. It was also found on water apple (Syzygium samarangense). This is the first record of a fruit fly in Maldives.

A member wrote, this is a fruit fly belonging to the Bactrocera dorsalis group which encompasses a number of species attacking inter alia mango. For a complete identification you may contact and send some specimens to group Bactrocera specialists.

For control, use a combination of 1) protein baits laced with insecticides, and 2) fruit fly lures to eradicate and/or control Tephritid fruit flies. There are many web links to these tools.

There is a lot of work out of Hawaii as well, plus many others (including FAO) who could be contacted. A couple of links below:

Fruit fly posters are available which feature the major fruit fly pests of the World, There have been a number of taxonomic changes since the posters were printed; however, they are still a useful resource for the preliminary identification of a species, especially where it is a distinctive type. There are also two posters on Australian fruit flies which cover some exotic threat species and provide a little detail on some of the approaches that can be taken to control and/or eradicate fruit flies.
If it is a methyl eugenol attracted species that you have in the Maldives, then it should not be difficult to eradicate the species, especially if the island is relatively accessible and relatively small in area. Traps and bait blocks have been used many time to do this before.
Bactocera dorsalis (Oriental fruit fly) was successfully eradicated from northern Queensland in Australia about 15 years ago. This was done through a combination of bait spraying (protein baits), blocking with methyl eugenol and malathion, quarantine (roadblocks and restrictions on fruit movement) and trapping. Male Annihilation Technique (MAT) is the term for the blocking. Combined, these three techniques led to the eradication of this species from Australia. (At that time it was thought to be papaya fruit fly (B. papayae); however, taxonomic changes have brought this species, B. philippinensis and B. invadens into the one species – Bactrocera dorsalis. While the sterile insect technique using irradiated male flies bred for this purpose was considered, fortunately, eradication was achieved without going to this expensive measure.

Fruit fly traps from India

Chennai-made pheromone traps for fruit fly come to Maldives’ rescue

K. S. Sudhi

Invasive species specialists from the Asia-Pacific Forest Invasive Species Network (APFISN), based at Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi, Thrissur, are reaching out to Sh. Feevah Island of Maldives to save its farming from a fruit fly attack.

Experts, who have identified the pest as Batocera invadens, the oriental fruit fly, are planning to ship around 400 pheromone lure traps to the atoll from Chennai to contain the attack.

The officials of the Fisheries and Agricultural Ministry of Maldives had recently approached the APFISN, a cooperative alliance of the 33 member countries in the Asia- Pacific Forestry Commission, a statutory body of the Food and Agriculture Organisation, for containing the attack. Mangoes and water apples farmed there were widely damaged in the attack.

The traps marketed by a Chennai firm have a trap container and a compatible lure dispenser to attract and entrap the flies. Methyl Eugenol, an insect pheromone, is used to lure fruit flies that attack mango, guava and other tree fruits.

The males of many fruit fly species, said T.V. Sajeev, APFISN coordinator, are strongly attracted to pheromones. The volatiles in the trap, which would last up to 50 days, attract the males, which are eventually trapped and killed thus denying the females the chance to mate.

The female flies are the ones who bore the fruits to lay eggs, which eventually destroy the fruits. The breeding population of the flies could be effectively controlled using such traps, he explained.

T. Jiji, Professor of Entomology, College of Agriculture, Vellayani, Thiruvananthapuram, said fruit fly attack was first reported in India three decades ago.

The Kerala Agriculture University had developed an eco-friendly Integrated Pest Management system including pheromone traps. Over 2 lakh such kits, which have a success rate of around 90 per cent, have been distributed in Kerala since 2008, Dr. Jiji said.

G. Suja, Assistant Professor, Onattukara Regional Agricultural Research Station of the University, at Kayamkulam in Alappuzha, pointed out that pheromone traps could also be used to control pest attack in vegetables, paddy and coconut. Banana traps using banana, jaggery and two drops of pesticides for trapping female fruit flies have also been developed by the university, said Ms. Suja.

Keywords: Sh. Feevah Island, fruit fly attack, Asia-Pacific Forest Invasive Species Network