Courtesy Dr. Cayol
Joint FAO/IAEA Division
Bactrocera zonata (Diptera: Tephritidae) originates in South and South-East Asia where it attacks many fruit species (more than 50 host plants), including guavas, mangoes, peach, apricots, figs and citrus. It has spread to other parts of the world, in particular to several countries in the Near East and to Egypt. In recent years, B. zonata has become a widespread pest in Egypt, and in addition it has been intercepted in Israel. It is considered that B. zonata threatens countries in the Near East and North Africa, and to a lesser extent in Southern Europe. International cooperation has been initiated by IAEA and FAO to eradicate B. zonata and prevent any further spread. On 2002-03-05, EPPO organized a workshop in Paris to review the current situation and decide on recommendations to be made to EPPO countries.
During the EPPO Workshop, participants presented the situation of B. zonata in the following countries:
The NPPO of Algeria intends to start a detection programme for B. zonata. This will be developed through FAO. The Algerian lists of quarantine pests are currently under revision and B. zonata will included in the revised A1 quarantine list.
In 1924, B. zonata was declared present in Egypt based on a detection in an intercepted consignment in Port Said in 1912. For a long period, the pest was no longer mentioned. In the 1980s, an intensive Tephritid fruit fly survey was initiated by FAO, but B. zonata was not found. In 1998, B. zonata was identified for the first time on infested guavas collected in Agamy and Sabahia, near Alexandria. In 1999, the first traps were set up and showed high capture rates in Alexandria and Cairo. In October 2000, B. zonata was detected in North Sinai (District of El Arish). Monitoring was set up in the North Sinai Governorate and 45,000 lure and kill blocks were installed. At present, it is considered that B. zonata is present and widespread in Egypt, and the situation is as follows. Mainland: whole Nile Delta region, Nile Valley, and Kharga and Dakla oases. There are extremely high populations in Cairo (>30 flies per trap per h in downtown Cairo). Sinai peninsula: Ras El Sudr, El Tur and Nuweiba in South Sinai Governorate. Captures all along the North Sinai Governorate (130 km2 of potential hosts) from El Qantara (NW) to Rafah (NE). High populations are found in gardens in El Arish. B. zonata is present on the Israel/TUJPA/Egypt border south of Rafah City. No efficient control action has yet been undertaken. Is was stressed that B. zonata is present even in very dry areas, where few host plants are present, and event on isolated trees. Furthermore, although B. zonata can be found in peach or mango orchards, larger populations are encountered in gardens where several different fruit trees grow in a relatively limited area. Though eradication appears difficult to achieve in the whole country, it might be feasible in the Sinai Peninsula.
Various habitats in Egypt where B. zonata has been found
Pictures from Dr Cayol, Joint FAO/IAEA Division
Egyptian infested orchard near Israel/TUJPA
Dry areas (south of El Arish)
Typical habitat of B. zonata in Egypt
Mango orchard near Ismailia
During the Workshop, it was reported that B. zonata was recently recorded from Southern Iran.
B. zonata was found for the first time in November 2000 in Rafah, south of Gaza strip, where a single male was captured. Approximately 20 flies were collected south of the Gaza Strip in Kerem Shalom by the end 2001. More than 700 methyl eugenol-baited traps have been put in place and preventive operations are carried out every two weeks. All detected outbreaks have been eradicated to date.
133 methyl eugenol-baited traps have been put in place, mainly in the Aqaba area and in the Jordan valley, but also in the highlands. Drastic phytosanitary measures have been taken to prevent introduction. Import and even transit of commodities from 13 countries infested or with a high risk of infestation by B. zonata have been prohibited, including Egypt, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and Israel. Fruits carried by passengers are destroyed. Preventive treatments are not being applied. A Pest Risk Analysis has been conducted in Jordan and lead to the conclusion that B. zonata has the characteristics of a quarantine pest. Legislation for internal phytosanitary measures is currently being formulated. So far, B. zonata has not been found.
The situation is not known, but no trapping has apparently been done.
The NPPO of Syria has confirmed that B. zonata does not occur in Syria and that a suitable trapping network is in place (EPPO RS 2002/155).
Territories Under the Jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authorities (TUJPA)
Following reports of this pest in Egypt, a network of traps was set up in Gaza (80 traps along the border with Egypt and inside Gaza strip). TUJPA does not import any commodity from countries where the pest is present. Passengers are not allowed to enter the TUJPA with fruits. It should be noted that some highly exposed areas are out of reach for both the Palestinian and Israeli authorities (no man's land). B. zonata has not been found.
A trapping network using methyl eugenol traps will be put in place with the help of IAEA.
IAEA has set up a detailed action plan against B. zonata.
Within EPPO it has been recommended that B. zonata be listed as an A1 quarantine pest (this proposal will be submitted to EPPO Council in September 2002) and appropriate measures taken in consequence. As a first step, it is recommended that consignments of fruits from countries where B. zonata occurs should be free from the pest. Detailed phytosanitary measures are currently being developed.
A regional Technical Cooperation Project (TCP) is being developed by FAO in collaboration with IAEA, to prevent the establishment of B. zonata in the Middle East and North Africa.