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Dominance of an invasive fruit fly species, Bactrocera invadens, along an altitudinal transect in Morogoro, Eastern Central Tanzania

  • K. Geurts (a1), M.W. Mwatawala (a2) and M. De Meyer (a3)


Bactrocera invadens, a fruit fly from Asia, is an invasive pest species across Africa. It appears to continue spreading, not only in latitude but also in altitude. To assess its capacity to infest a large variety of hosts and its competition with other fruit fly species, a study along an altitudinal gradient was conducted. At low altitudes, the high abundance in the field and high infestation of B. invadens in different fruit species make it a serious pest. At high altitudes, colonization has started and B. invadens occurs in low numbers by reproducing successfully in high altitude fruits. Overall the abundance and infestation of B. invadens is influenced by its direct competitor Ceratitis rosa and the presence of its preferred host species. C. rosa is still the dominant species in temperate fruits grown at high altitude. Ceratitis cosyra, however, is negatively affected by B. invadens, this species seems to have shifted hosts to avoid competition. The broad host range and competitive potential of B. invadens increase the risk for further spread not only to higher areas, but also to subtropical regions.


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