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"Bactrocera dorsalis" was detected in Greece for the first time

Greece has confirmed the first detection of the oriental fruit fly in its territory. Bactrocera dorsalis has been classified as one of the twenty priority pests that present the most serious economic, environmental, and social threat to EU countries. The fly was found in a trap on the periphery of Attica. This dipteran, which affects about four hundred types of fruits and vegetables, has already been detected in various regions, including Asia, Africa, Oceania, and the United States. In Europe it was first detected in Italy (2018), then in France (2019), and more recently in Belgium (2023).

Greek authorities have started surveys near the detection point to assess the presence of B. dorsalis in the area, installing additional traps, and promoting an outreach campaign aimed at professional operators and citizens. This insect is mainly dispersed through the transport of fruits, where it can be transported as an egg or larva within the fruit, and even as a nymph through the soil. In addition, it can move from 50 to 100 km naturally.

The oriental fruit fly attacks many crops, including citrus, peaches, plums, pears, apples, tomatoes, peppers, bananas, mangoes, and papaya. The symptoms of infestation are similar to those caused by the Mediterranean fly, Ceratitis capitata, as the infected fruits show discoloration and, subsequently, rot or holes where the larvae emerge. Unlike C. capitata, B. dorsalis' life cycle slows down with low temperatures and stops at less than 13°C.

Most of the B. dorsalis detected in Europe are isolated individuals in urban areas, related to logistics centers. However, the findings of more than one fly in Var (France) and Campania (Italy) have led authorities to take measures to contain its expansion. Carlos Maria Lozano, of the Plant Health and Certification Center of Aragon, highlighted in AgroMurcia the threat posed by B. dorsalis to stone fruit trees in the Mediterranean basin, underlining its wide range of dissemination and ability to attack these crops.


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