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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Environmental Effects of Tephritid Fruit Fly Control and Management

Location: Tropical Crop and Commodity Protection Research

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
The objectives of this cooperative agreement are three-fold:.
1)to develop, evaluate and transfer non-toxic, environmentally suitable and publicly acceptable technologies and processes for fruit fly pest management in order to enhance the production and interstate and international movement of Hawaiian agricultural commodities;.
2)to identify and characterize effective environmental and economic impacts of technologies and processes for fruit fly control; and.
3)to investigate the establishment of fruit fly low-prevalence zones to facilitate interstate and international movement of Hawaii agricultural products.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
The approach to this project is to address the development and evaluation of currently acceptable or novel non-toxic fruit-fly control strategies such as classical biological controls; post-harvest treatments, microbial control agents; behavioral genetic and ecological controls and others, while identifying potential environmental problems and developing solutions associated with currently acceptable or novel fruit fly control strategies in a variety of Hawaii agricultural systems (such as coffee, papaya, guava, citrus, lychee, mango and other fruit and vegetables). Documents SCA with University of Hawaii; formerly 5320-22430-021-22S (8/09). Formerly 5320-22430-021-26S (11/10).


3.Progress Report:

One goal of the cooperative agreement is to identify and characterize effective environmental and economic pmpacts of technologies and processes for fruit fly control which aligns directly to objective 6 of the parent project, "Develop area-wide Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems including integration of environmentally friendly replacements for organophosphate chemicals to reduce the economic impact of fruit flies and other tropical plant pests".

We have developed a multi-species ensemble modeling approach to define current habitats used by various Trupanea sp. as well as project how that predicted habitat may be affected under climate change. This approach uses an ensemble of multiple Ecological Niche Modeling (ENM) statistical methodologies to create a single geographic projection defining the distribution of each Trupanea sp. The modeling approach was developed for each species with a sufficient number and distribution of presence localities as defined from both historic and current collections. Validation statistics were defined per model/species to understand the significance of the approach to each species and validate the models use in defining the species geographic distribution. All models were shown to define the geographic distribution of the species in a significant (beyond random), and highly descriptive manner. Using multiple regression (R) statistical environment packages, we have coded the model to allow iterative replication of the approach as new information becomes available.

Implementing the modeling approach in R has allowed us to project each Trupanea sp. ENM into both classic and more easily disseminated formats. Using the R package KMLtools we have been able to project each set of figures defined per species into a .kmz format. KMZ is a file extension for a placemark file used by Google Earth. KMZ stands for Keyhole Markup language Zipped. It is a compressed version of a KML (Keyhole Markup Language) file. Keyhole was the founding company of the Earth Viewer software that Google Earth was built upon. A file in the .kmz format automatically projects all of its geographic attributes in Google Earth upon selection, and is easily hosted and distributed via a HyperText Markup Language (HTML) website. By projecting the ENM’s into an easily accessible and navigable open source geographic information system (GIS), e.g. Google Earth, we hope to increase the dissemination of the research, and give manipulative/interactive ability to non-profit, state, and federal conservation managers in Hawaii. It is hoped that with the increased awareness of Trupanea sp. more locality information will become available.

In addition, we also found that horizontal toxicity transfer of insecticide has become an important paradigm to control social insects such as termites in recent years. However, the potential horizontal insecticide toxicity transfer between non-social insects was unknown. We tested fipronil toxicity transfer through male melon fly (Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett) lure to female flies in field and laboratory studies. Two repeated field trials were conducted to compare the effect of using Amulet bait stations as part of the B. cucurbitae IPM program. Female B. cucurbitae population in field plots treated with Amulet bait stations in conjunction with weekly protein bait spot treatment reduced significantly compared to field plots treated with weekly protein bait spot treatment alone. Direct toxicity transfer from male flies exposed to Amulet for 1-4 minutes resulted in 100% female mortality in 6 hours. Indirect toxicity transfer through regurgitation was determined by collecting excreted droplet from fipronil fed male flies. Receiver mortality for male and female flies were 100% and 74%, respectively. These findings are the first documentation of horizontal transfer of insecticide toxicity in non-social insects.


Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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