Analysis of the Mediterranean fruit fly [Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann)] spatiotemporal distribution in relation to sex and female mating status for precision IPM

Andrea Sciarretta, Maria Rosaria Tabilio, Elena Lampazzi, Claudio Ceccaroli, Marco Colacci, Pasquale Trematerra

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly), Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), is a key pest of fruit crops in many tropical, subtropical and mild temperate areas worldwide. The economic importance of this fruit fly is increasing due to its invasion of new geographical areas. Efficient control and eradication efforts require adequate information regarding C. capitata adults in relation to environmental and physiological cues. This would allow effective characterisation of the population spatio-temporal dynamic of the C. capitata population at both the orchard level and the area-wide landscape. The aim of this study was to analyse population patterns of adult medflies caught using two trapping systems in a peach orchard located in central Italy. They were differentiated by adult sex (males or females) and mating status of females (unmated or mated females) to determine the spatio-temporal dynamic and evaluate the effect of cultivar and chemical treatments on trap catches. Female mating status was assessed by spermathecal dissection and a blind test was carried out to evaluate the reliability of the technique. Geostatistical methods, variogram and kriging, were used to produce distributional maps. Results showed a strong correlation between the distribution of males and unmated females, whereas males versus mated females and unmated females versus mated females showed a lower correlation. Both cultivar and chemical treatments had significant effects on trap catches, showing associations with sex and female mating status. Medfly adults showed aggregated distributions in the experimental field, but hot spots locations varied. The spatial pattern of unmated females reflected that of males, whereas mated females were largely distributed around ripening or ripe fruit. The results give relevant insights into pest management. Mated females may be distributed differently to unmated females and the identification of male hot spots through monitoring would allow localisation of virgin female populations. Based on our results, a more precise IPM strategy, coupled with effective sanitation practices, could represent a more effective approach to medfly control.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0195097
Pages (from-to)-
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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