The role of the Cuarentagri project in monitoring and issuing phytosanitary sheets concerning the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata Wiedeman) (Diptera: Tephritidae) as part of an agricultural warning system in the Azores
Abstract: The Cuarentagri project aims to identify harmful organisms that can affect the
different regions of Macaronesia and in particular the Azores. These regions and countries have a biodiversity and particular climatic conditions.
The main objective of this project is to prevent and/or reduce the establishment and
proliferation of new harmful organisms, promoting better training in pest risk analysis (PRA)
for technicians and producing and disseminating this information to technicians, farmers and
citizens. For achieving this, it is very important to know from the European Union priority pest list which of those harmful organisms affect citrus such as Candidatus Liberibacter spp. and their vectors such as Trioza erytreae Del Guercio (Hemiptera: Triozidae) and Diaphorina citri are those that can easily be introduced, and for that Portugal already as an contingency plan to deal with this problem pest.
The project is being developed on three Azorean islands: Terceira, São Miguel and São
Jorge, and covers citrus pest among others. Trioza erytreae symptoms were not yet observed in the three islands analysed. In addition, Ceratitis capitata population evolution was monitored using different types of traps and attractants allowing to know the most efficient combination.
The best combination trap and attractant was Tephri trap with food attractant Trimo-Lure.
The population dynamic data permited to create agricultural warnings as part of a new alert
system. For this purpose, phytosanitary sheets were issued fortnightly with medfly appearance and evolution information. It was also concluded that in Terceira Island the traps should be on the field earlier than September to know when the C. capitata first peak occurs as done in São Jorge and São Miguel.