Diversity and geographic distribution of the indigenous and exotic parasitoidsof the olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Diptera: Tephritidae), in Southern France


Abstract: The olive fruit fly, Bactrocera oleae (Dipt., Tephritidae), is the most important pest ofolive crops in the world. Economic losses associated to the limited efficiency of pesticides andnatural regulation require the development of new alternatives. A classical biological controlprogram was thus implemented in 2007 in France with two main objectives: (1) test theefficiency of a new exotic parasitoid, Psyttalia lounsburyi (Hym., Braconidae) on the olive fruitfly populations and (2) understand how intraspecific hybridization could affect the demographicsuccess of exotic biocontrol agents and, more generally, invasive species. In 2008, more than43,000 P. lounsburyi were consequently introduced in 60 sites located in Southern France,covering the whole geographic distribution of olive crops in this country. The pluri-annualsurveys realised between 2007 and 2010 gave the opportunity to better document the dynamics ofolive fruit fly populations as well as the associated communities of parasitoids. Main results onthese two topics are outlined here in a view to stimulate collaborative research and moreprecisely document the community ecology of B. oleae and its natural enemies in theMediterranean area and elsewhere.

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