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The seasonal phenology of Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Queensland

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Publication Type  Journal Article
Year of Publication  2010
Authors  Muthuthantri, S.; Maelzer, D.; Zalucki, M.P.; Clarke, A.R.
Journal Title  Australian Journal of Entomology
Volume  49
Issue  3
Pages  221-233

Bactrocera tryoni is a polyphagous fruit fly, originally endemic to tropical and subtropical coastal eastern Australia, but now also widely distributed in temperate eastern Australia. In temperate parts of its range, B. tryoni populations show distinct seasonal peaks driven by changing seasonal climates, especially changing temperature. In contrast to temperate areas, the seasonal phenology of B. tryoni in subtropical and tropical parts of its range is poorly documented and the role of climate unknown. Using a large, historical (1940s and 1950s) fruit fly trapping dataset, we present the seasonal phenology of B. tryoni at nine sites across Queensland for multiple (two to seven) years per site. We correlate monthly trap data for each site with monthly weather averages (temperature, rainfall and relative humidity) to investigate climatic influences. We also correlate observed population data with predicted population data generated by an existing B. tryoni population model. Supporting predictions from climate driven models, B. tryoni did show year-round breeding at most Queensland sites. However, contrary to predictions, there was a common pattern of a significant population decline in autumn and winter, followed by a rapid population increase in August and then one or more distinct peaks of abundance in spring and summer. Mean monthly fly abundance was significantly different across sites, but was not correlated with altitudinal, latitudinal or longitudinal gradients. There were very few significant correlations between monthly fly population size and weather variables (either for the corresponding month or for up to 3 months previously) for eight of the nine sites. For the southern site of Gatton fly population abundance was correlated with temperature. Results suggest that although climate factors may be influencing patterns of B. tryoni population abundance in southern subtropical Queensland, they are not explaining patterns of abundance in northern subtropical and tropical Queensland. In the discussion we focus on the role of other factors, particularly larval host plant availability, as likely drivers of B. tryoni abundance in tropical and subtropical parts of its range

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The seasonal phenology of Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Queensland

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