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Insects 2018, 9(2), 71; https://doi.org/10.3390/insects9020071

Spatial Distribution of Bactrocera dorsalis and Thaumatotibia leucotreta in Smallholder Avocado Orchards along Altitudinal Gradient of Taita Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro

1
ICIPE-International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, P.O. Box 30772-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
2
Department of Plant Science and Crop Protection, University of Nairobi, Kenya, P.O. Box 30197-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
3
Invertebrate Zoology Section, National Museums of Kenya, P.O. Box 40658-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
4
Department of General Studies, Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology, P.O. Box 2958, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
5
CABI-Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International, Africa Regional Centre, P.O. Box 633-000621, Nairobi, Kenya
6
Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 68, FI-00014 Helsinki, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 May 2018 / Revised: 8 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 19 June 2018
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Abstract

Avocado (Persea americana) fruits are an important source of income and a nutritious food for small-scale growers and other stakeholders involved in farming along the Afrotropical highlands of Taita Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya and Tanzania, respectively. Avocado fruits are infested by several insect pests, namely the Asian invasive fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae), and the false codling moth, Thaumatotibia leucotreta Meyrick (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae). However, there is inadequate information on the distribution patterns of these pests in small-scale avocado cropping systems in the East African highlands. This study was initiated to generate a spatial distribution map of B. dorsalis and T. leucotreta in avocado orchards at Taita Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya and Tanzania, respectively. The two pests were monitored by using their respective parapheromone lures for two years between August 2012 and July 2014. Fruit damage was assessed by computing the proportion of infested fruits for B. dorsalis, whereas the damage score was used for T. leucotreta. Our results indicated that the mean number of B. dorsalis per trap per day differed significantly across elevation, being highest in lowland zone for both Taita Hills (15.90) and Mount Kilimanjaro (24.45). Similarly, the percentage infestation of ground collected fruits by B. dorsalis varied with altitude, being lowest at highlands above 1500 m.a.s.l. (0.66% and 0.83% for Taita Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro, respectively). Conversely, the mean number of T. leucotreta did not vary with altitude in either study area. However, the damage score for T. leucotreta infestation was significantly lower in the highlands of both transects (7.0% and11.1% for Taita Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro, respectively). These findings describe spatial trends that are important in formulating strategies aimed at suppressing the populations of B. dorsalis and T. leucotreta in East African avocado cropping systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: avocado fruits; Bactrocera dorsalis; East African highlands; elevation; distribution; Thaumatotibia leucotreta avocado fruits; Bactrocera dorsalis; East African highlands; elevation; distribution; Thaumatotibia leucotreta
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Odanga, J.J.; Mohamed, S.; Mwalusepo, S.; Olubayo, F.; Nyankanga, R.; Khamis, F.; Rwomushana, I.; Johansson, T.; Ekesi, S. Spatial Distribution of Bactrocera dorsalis and Thaumatotibia leucotreta in Smallholder Avocado Orchards along Altitudinal Gradient of Taita Hills and Mount Kilimanjaro. Insects 2018, 9, 71.

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