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Fruit Fly detection and interception, the FF-IPM project response

28/04/2022 @9.00 CET

The first webinar of this series is an introduction to an emerging problem, the planned approach and the results achieved so far. In-silico boosted, pest prevention and off-season focused IPM against new and emerging fruit flies.

Africa Museum


Smart-trapping & deployment strategy for surveillance of invasive fruit flies

30/6/2022 @16.00 Athens time

Interception of alien species of fruit flies (Tephritidae) is the first step in reducing the risk of invasion and establishment of this economically important group of insect pests. Interception is based on routine screening and surveillance, and on the use of effective devices to detect and/or trap these insects (in their different stages of development). Regarding the interception of adult specimens of fruit flies, all sort of traps and attractants are currently being used. Their deployment in surveilled areas respond to all sort of models which take into consideration the biology of the pest and host, the potential efficacy of the trap and deployment scheme to detect present adults of the invading fruit fly, and costs.

During the last 15 years, electronic “smart-traps” have been propose and developed. The idea of the smart-traps is to increase the effectiveness of monitoring and trapping, and reduce the need and frequency for in-site human service. The use of smart-trap in fruit fly monitoring and surveillance is already starting to take place, and is expected to importantly reduce costs and increase the effectiveness of surveillance, monitoring and decision-making.

The present webinar will review current knowledge on smart-trapping, and invasive fruit fly surveillance and interception. In addition, the webinar will also present the strategy being proposed by the FF-IPM project, and results generated during the first 2 years of the project, which includes the development of a novel smart-trap specifically tailored for invasive Bactrocera and Ceratitis species, deployment options and the use of decision-making algorithms, which are expected to optimize surveillance of invasive fruit flies.

David Nestel

Agricultural Research Organisation (ARO)


Modelling the population dynamics of Oriental Fruit Fly, Bactrocera dorsalis: Progress and prospects for a real-time fruit fly forecasting system

Fruit flies are some of the most damaging insect pests of horticulture, threatening fruit and vegetable production throughout the humid tropics and sub-tropics.  The Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis is one of the most notorious of these invasive dipterans.  We used DYMEX to develop a process-based population dynamics model of B. dorsalis as the centrepiece of a real-time pest forecasting system.  The model functions were derived mostly from the published literature, supplemented with experiments conducted within the FF IPM project.  Attention was paid to the microclimates inhabited by the different lifestages of B. dorsalis.  The model was tested using historical trapping data from a range of sites across the native and invaded range of B. dorsalis.

In this presentation we sketch out the B. dorsalis model, show how it performs against trapping data, and comment on future efforts to embed this model in a real-time pest modelling framework, including links to automated surveillance systems.

Darren Kriticos

Cervantes Agritech


Nematodes for off-season control of the Mediterranean Fruit-fly

In this webinar, we will delve into the world of entomopathogenic nematodes and their potential for controlling the Mediterranean Fruit-fly during the off-season. The webinar will cover various key points to provide a comprehensive understanding of the topic. To begin, an introduction to entomopathogenic nematodes will be presented, shedding light on their characteristics, life cycle, and their unique ability to target and control insect pests. The webinar will then focus on the optimization of mass production techniques for entomopathogenic nematodes. Furthermore, we will discuss the different ways in which nematodes can be applied to target various insect developmental stages, specifically tailoring the application methods for the Mediterranean Fruit-fly. The webinar will also showcase trials conducted using nematodes to combat the Mediterranean Fruit-fly. Participants will gain valuable insights into the outcomes of these trials, including the efficacy and practicality of using nematodes for off-season control of this destructive pest. Based on the accumulated knowledge and research findings, the webinar will conclude with recommended strategies for the use of nematodes in the off-season control of the Mediterranean Fruit-fly.

Dr. Arne Peters

Arne Peters is leading the research and development team at e-nema. He has
been working with entomopathogenic nematode since 1990 and was a co-founder
of the company e-nema in 1997. Besides supervising activities in various
research projects, Arne is also leading the process development team. He has
been collaborating with Apostolos Kapranas from Benaki institute in a
previous EU project on controlling the large pine weevil Hylobius abietis
with nematodes.

e-nema GmbH


Odorant-Based Detection of fruit fly infested fruits in cargo shipment.

Infestation by insects elicit changes in plant metabolism. Following infestation, plants emit specific Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that are characterized as Herbivore Induced Volatiles (HIPVs) or Oviposition Induced Plant Volatiles (OIPVs). These VOCs are important part of plants’ defense strategies to counteract the herbivore attack. In particular, HIPVs or OIPVs are utilized by herbivores’ natural enemies to locate their host or prey. Therefore HIPVs or OIPVs are plant synomones that are released by plants upon herbivore infestation and benefit both the plant and the biological control agents. This attribute is considered for utilization to achieve rapid and reliable detection of infested fruits by integrating the detection of VOCs into a digital tool. Various electronic noses (“e-noses”) have been developed since the 1990s for a variety of commercial applications.

Within FF IPM, we have identified the VOCs emitted by different fruit species upon infestation by either Bactrocera dorsalisB. zonata or Ceratitis capitata. Based on the characteristic volatile profile, we are “training” a commercially available e-nose to detect infested fruits by fruit flies.

Panos Mylonas

Benaki Phytopathological Institute (BPI)