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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ESTABLISHING A FRUIT-FLY FREE-ZONE IN SOUTHWESTERN PUERTO RICO I: FEASIBILITY ASSESSMENT

Location: Tropical Crops and Germplasm Research

2010 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
Assess suitability and spatial distribution of hosts of Anastrepha spp. on different parts of Puerto Rico in order to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a fruit-fly free zone in Puerto Rico.


1b.Approach (from AD-416)
The locations of known and potential host plants for Anastrepha spp. fruit flies will be recorded in a geographical information system. Potential hosts will be surveyed for infestations. Known hosts will be monitored to record phenology of fruiting. Geospatial analyses will be used to describe the availability of these hosts in space and time (when are fruit available?; how far apart are hosts?). This information will be used to assess the feasibility of establishing a fruit fly-free zone in Puerto Rico.


3.Progress 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.


Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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