2012 Annual Report
Since its establishment in North America a decade ago, olive fruit fly has become the most important and damaging pest of olives in California, the major producer state in North America. Indigenous natural enemies present in North America are not capable of limiting populations of the fly in commercial orchards, widespread landscape plantings or wild olives, so ARS conducted foreign exploration that identified candidate biocontrol agents that impact fly populations. Their evaluation and subsequent release in California generated considerable interest in France. This project is an agreement that was initiated in 2009 to provide the biocontrol agents to INRA for release in France and to support collaborative studies of their ecology in the field and compare the biological characteristics of several different populations of the agents. During FY2012 EBCL contributed to research at INRA by advising on research concerning venom components of olive fly parasitoids. EBCL also obtained new field-collected populations of olive fly parasitoids from Africa that were needed for this research. Additional details about the research can be found in the report for the parent project 0212-22000-24-00D, DISCOVERY, BIOLOGY, AND ECOLOGY OF NATURAL ENEMIES OF INSECT PESTS OF CROP AND URBAN AND NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS. To discuss project progress, the ADODR corresponded during the year by electronic mail, videoconference and personal meetings with the cooperators.