Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), Ceratitis rosa Karsch, and Ceratitis cosyra (Walker) are fruit fly species (Diptera: Tephritidae) of economic importance in South Africa. These pests cause direct damage to a number of commercially produced fruit and are of phytosanitary concern. A study was conducted to determine the distribution, relative abundance, and seasonal occurrence of the three species in different climatic regions of South Africa. The relative abundance and seasonal phenology of C. capitata and C. rosa were also compared between production areas and home gardens in Stellenbosch, Western Cape. Yellow bucket traps baited with Biolure were used to trap the flies over a 2-yr period in the different sampling areas. Different fruit types were sampled in Stellenbosch to determine fruit fly infestation. C. capitata was found to have a widespread distribution in South Africa, whereas C. rosa were absent from or only present in low numbers in the drier regions. C. cosyra was restricted to the North East and East coast, following a similar pattern to the distribution of marula, Sclerocarrya hirrea, an important wild host. Fruit in home gardens provided a breeding ground for C. capitata and C. rosa and a source for infestation of orchards when fruit started to mature, highlighting the need for an area-wide strategy for the control of fruit flies.
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Vol. 42 • No. 5