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Seasonal Population Abundance of Bactrocera Dorsalis Hendel (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Selected Districts of Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Abstract: The fruitfly Bactrocera dorsalis is an economically important pest that requires management for the sustainability of agriculture in South Africa. This pest has spread from the country's Northern parts within a decade, where it has completely established and spread to other neighbouring provinces. The pest spreads at various rates due to different factors given biotic and abiotic factors. Understanding factors that influence pest prevalence will assist with practical management strategies. Temperature is one of the factors that assist the invasive potential of B. dorsalis. KwaZulu Natal province is among the hotspot provinces in the country besides Limpopo and Mpumalanga. Trap catches in Northern KwaZulu Natal, uMkhanyakude and King Cetshwayo districts show that the seasonal populations of B. dorsalis are continuously present all year round, even with the application of management options to reduce pest populations. Host availability plays a significant role in the invasion and total outcompeting of other native fruitflies e.g. Ceratitis punctata.
Keywords: Africa / dorsalis / pest / KwaZulu Natal / seasonal populations / spread / South / Bactrocera / districts / provinces

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