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Susceptibility of olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Diptera: Tephritidae) pupae to entomopathogenic nematodes

Giulia Torrini*, Giuseppe Mazza, Claudia Benvenuti, Pio Federico Roversi

Research Centre for Plant Protection and Certification (CREA-DC), Via Lanciola 12/A, Cascine del Riccio, 50125 Firenze, Italy

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Received: May 11, 2017
Accepted: July 18, 2017

Abstract

The olive fruit fly Bactrocera oleae is one of the most serious and economically damaging insects worldwide, affecting the quality and quantity of both olive oil and table olives. Laboratory bioassays were conducted for the first time to evaluate the susceptibility of B. oleae pupae to two entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) species, Steinernema carpocapsae and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. The nematodes tested caused pupal mortality of 62.5% and 40.6%, respectively. The most noteworthy result was obtained with S. carpocapsae which was able to infect 21.9% of the emerged adults. Since this tephritid fly spent several months in the soil as pupa, the use of EPNs could be a promising method to control this pest.

Key words: biological control, fruit flies, Heterorhabditis, olive, Steinernema, Tephritidae

 
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