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Ecología austral

versión On-line ISSN 1667-782X


SEGURA, Diego F; VERA, M Teresa  y  CLADERA, Jorge L. Seasonal fluctuation on infestation of several hosts by the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Buenos Aires Province. Ecol. austral [online]. 2004, vol.14, n.1, pp.3-17. ISSN 1667-782X.

A survey of 11 host species of Ceratitis capitata was carried out in an experimental area of San Pedro (Buenos Aires, Argentina) with an approximate extension of 115 ha. The abundance of adult flies was compared with the infestation level (inferred from the percentage of infested fruit and from the number of puparia/kg of fruit) along the reproductive season. Also, the effect of some biotic and abiotic factors on the population fluctuations was analyzed. The study included 12 fortnightly samplings carried out between November 1999 and May 2000. In each sampling, mature fruits of 20 plants were taken at random. For each fruit, the number of puparia of Ceratitis capitata was recorded. The fruiting periods of the host species present in the area were staggered along the reproductive season, assuring to the flies a continuous supply of hosts. Nonetheless, population fluctuations were not related to the availability of hosts. The restrictive effect of low winter temperatures probably prevents population from reaching levels required to exploit the resource in proportion to its availability. There was a high association between the abundance of adult flies and infestation levels. In the study area, temperature was the only climatic factor showing significant association with the abundance of Ceratitis capitata and infestation levels. Correlations of the abundance of adult flies and of the infestation levels with the temperature of the previous period were higher than the correlation with the temperature of the current period, probably indicating that this climatic factor has a stronger effect on the immature stages than on the adults.

Palabras clave : Population fluctuations; Infestation levels.

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