Location: Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research
2010 Annual Report
The objectives of this agreement correspond with objective 2 of the parent project (Develop efficient and sustainable monitoring and/or control methods for key pests that limit tropical/subtropical fruit production and quality) since the work involves assessing the feasibility of establishing a fruit fly free zone on the island of Puerto Rico.
Fruit has been collected from different regions of the island and the extent of infestation (pupae yielded per kilogram of fruit) has been compared between regions. Mark and recapture studies have begun, with officials at APHIS on the alert that marked flies may arrive at their traps. Spatial surveys of known and potential hosts have been conducted and the data is being statistically analyzed. Baited traps have been set in several locations to determine fruit fly population levels at those sites. This research is aimed at discovering geographical differences in population levels of the pest fruit flies and assessing whether these differences are exploitable in establishing a fruit fly free zone. We are in regular communication with our collaborators through face to face meetings on a bi-monthly basis.