Olive Fruit Fly: Managing an Ancient Pest in Modern Times

  • Daane K
  • Johnson M
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Olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) (Diptera: Tephritidae), is the major pest of commercial olives worldwide. Various aspects of its biology, ecology, management, and impact on olive production are highlighted. With the discovery of insecticidal resistance in some populations frequently treated with organophosphates, old and new control options are being investigated. The potential of biological control is examined. Surveys suggest that a small group of braconids in the Opiinae subfamily best represent the primary parasitoids attacking olive fruit fly in its native range. These species include Psyttalia lounsburyi, P. dacicida, P. concolor, P. ponerophaga, and Utetes africanus. Bracon celer, another braconid but in the Braconinae subfamily, is also reared from the fruit fly in its native range. The potential of these and other natural enemies is discussed with respect to olive fruit fly biology, commercial olive production, and biological constraints that may limit their success. We suggest that numerous species exist that should be further investigated as control agents for olive fruit fly in the many climatic regimes where the pest is found.

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  • Kent M. Daane

  • Marshall W. Johnson

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