Population Ecology

, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 259–273 | Cite as

Management and eradication options for Queensland fruit fly

  • Lloyd D. StringerEmail author
  • John M. Kean
  • Jacqueline R. Beggs
  • D. Max Suckling
Original article


Several tephritid fruit flies have explosive population growth and a wide host range, resulting in some of the largest impacts on horticultural crops, reducing marketable produce, and limiting market access. For these pests, early detection and eradication are routinely implemented in vulnerable areas. However, social and consumer concerns can limit the types of population management tools available for fruit fly incursion responses. Deterministic population models were used to compare eradication tools used at typical densities alone and in combination against the Queensland fruit fly (‘Qfly’), Bactrocera tryoni. The models suggested that tools that prevent egg laying are likely to be most effective at reducing populations. Tools that induced mortality once Qfly was sexually mature only slowed population growth, as successful mating still occurred. Release of sterile Qfly when using the sterile insect technique (SIT) interferes with the successful mating of wild flies, and of the tools investigated here, SIT caused the greatest reduction in the population at the prescribed release rate. Used in tandem with SIT, protein baits slightly improved the rate of population reduction, but the male annihilation technique (MAT) almost nullified control by SIT due to the mortality induced on sterile flies. The model suggested that the most rapid decrease in population size would be achieved by SIT plus protein baits. However, the model predicted both the SIT and protein baits when used alone would result in population reduction. The MAT can be used prior to SIT release to increase overflooding ratios.


Bactrocera tryoni Lure and kill Male annihilation technique Protein bait Sterile insect release Tephritidae 



This project, HG13034, has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited with co-investment from The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited and funds from the Australian Government. We thank the Better Border Biosecurity collaboration (, Andrew Jessup for providing unpublished reports, and Howard Wearing, Alistair Hall, Tony Clarke, Hazel Parry and two anonymous reviewers for greatly improving an earlier draft of the manuscript and model assumptions, Donna Gibson for enhancing figure 1 and Megan Gee for literature support.

Author contributions

LDS, JMK, JRB and DMS conceived the research. LDS and JMK developed the model. LDS prepared the manuscript and JMK, JRB and DMS edited the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© The Society of Population Ecology and Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food ResearchChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.Better Border BiosecurityChristchurchNew Zealand
  3. 3.Centre for Biodiversity and Biosecurity, School of Biological SciencesUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  4. 4.AgResearchRuakuraNew Zealand

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