We studied the spatio-temporal dispersion patterns of Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), in a mixed, deciduous, fruit orchard in Thessaloniki (northern Greece), using spatial autocorrelation methods to analyze adult trapping data. Each trapping station consisted of a Jackson trap (baited with trimedlure) and a McPhail trap (baited with ammonium acetate, putrescine, and trimethylamine). More males than females were captured throughout the season. Males and females exhibited different spatial dispersion patterns. Females were first detected during the summer (June–July) in apricot and peach trees bearing ripe fruits and significantly aggregated there toward the end of July. In the autumn, females significantly aggregated in apple orchards bearing mature fruits. Early aggregations of males were first detected in August in cherries and plums. In September, males significantly clustered in pears at the edges of the orchard, and by October, after an increase in population density, their spatial dispersion pattern became random (no significant spatial autocorrelation). At the end of the season (November), the dispersion of both sexes became random. Our results show that spatial autocorrelation statistics can provide an important tool in studying the spatial dynamics of this fly even in small orchards. Results also suggest that the incorporation of knowledge on spatial patterns into area-wide control projects may improve monitoring efforts and reduce program costs.
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