1993 Volume 37 Issue 3 Pages 123-128
The spatio-temporal dynamics of populations of the melon fly, Bactrocera (Dacus) cucurbitae COQUILLETT, in the southern part of Okinawa Island where an eradication program using sterile flies has been conducted, were analyzed in relation to the seasonal succession and abundance of wild and cultivated host fruits. The study areas were classified into four major zones according to the seasonal abundance of flies caught by cue-lure traps and the availability of host fruits including Diplocyclos palmatus, Melothria liukiuensis and Momordica charantia var. pevel. Zone-I is characterized by the continuous presence of host fruits and a relatively-high population density of the melon fly indicated by the cue-lure trap catch of more than 1, 000 flies per 1, 000 traps per day throughout the year. Zone-II has a characteristic decline in both number of host fruits and fly density during the fall-winter period with an annual average of less than 1, 000 flies per 1, 000 traps per day. Zone-III includes areas where host fruits and flies (about 1 fly/trap/day) were relatively abundant only during the winter-spring period. Zone-IV is characterized by constantly low availability of host fruits and low fly density throughout the year. Hot spots, which are defined as areas where the ratio of sterile to wild flies hardly increases despite frequent and intensive release of sterile flies, were found in the Zone-I areas. Therefore, the continuous presence and abundance of host fruits appears to hot spots. For effective control of this species, it is essential to locate such areas and release sterile flies.