Oral Presentation Science Protecting Plant Health 2017

Continuing development of a new “attract and kill” trap for surveillance and control of female Queensland fruit fly (4386)

Paul Cunningham 1 , Kevin Farnier 1
  1. AgriBio, Bundoora, VICTORIA, Australia

Insect traps baited with attractant odours are powerful surveillance technologies for detecting and killing pests before they have a chance to establish and spread. In tephritid fruit fly monitoring and control, odours in these “attract and kill” traps currently target either the male flies (using pheromone-like attractants)  or virgin female flies (using protein-based attractants). There is an urgent need for an effective trap that targets mated female fruit flies, which directly damage fruits through egg laying and the spread of microbial rots. We report here on our continued development of a synthetic fruit fly lure to trap mated females of the Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni. Our synthetic attractants have been designed through studies in insect olfactory neuroscience (electro-antennograms and antennal lobe imaging), analytical chemistry, microbiology, and insect behaviour. Fruit-mimic sticky traps (red balls on a yellow background) baited with our synthetic blends were hung in orchards in regional Victoria (Sunraysia and Goulburn Valley), and caught significantly more Queensland fruit fly than odourless control traps. In some (but not all) trials, these traps also proved more effective at catching flies than protein baited traps. We discuss how incorporating a range of traps targeting both male and female fruit flies might be a more effective biosecurity strategy for surveillance of established and exotic fruit fly pests.