Research project Developing effective methods for the surveillance of non-European Tephritids on Belgian territory

In progress TEPHRISURV
Fly - Rhagoletis pomonella Joseph Berger, Bugwood.org - https://www.insectimages.org/browse/detail.cfm?imgnum=5402797

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Main research question

True fruit flies of non-European origin (Diptera: Tephritidae) are devasting pests on fruit and vegetables. They could potentially also be harmful to crops in Belgium. To prevent the establishment and spread of true fruit flies in Belgium, it is important to detect these flies as early as possible. Hence, together with the Royal Museum of Central Africa, we aim at developing an efficient surveillance program for non-European Tephritidae in Belgium.

Research approach

Based on both biological information and the range of economically important host plants on which non-European true fruit flies (Tephritidae) can feed, we identify which of these true fruit flies could potentially establish themselves in Belgium. For a selection of these flies, we also set up climate population models. The data collected will be used to determine the potential risk of non-European Tephritidae becoming established. We elaborate a scientifically based advice on the best way (type of attractant, place and time of monitoring, etc.) to monitor non-European true fruit flies in Belgium.

Relevance/Valorization

For biodiversity, nature and for the existing local plant production area, it is very important to develop an effective monitoring program for non-European true fruit flies, taking into account the international phytosanitary guidelines ("ISPM 6 Surveillance"). This monitoring program will be at the disposal of the NPPO (National Plant Protection Organization) of Belgium. Obviously, the research results of the TEPHRISURV project will be communicated to the sector through the appropriate channels, as well as to the general public.