Research in the identity of agricultural pests has broad implications

November 04, 2014

A global research effort has resolved a major biosecurity issue by determining that four of the world's most destructive agricultural pests are one and the same.

The Oriental fruit fly, the Philippine fruit fly, the Invasive fruit fly, the Carambola fruit fly, and the Asian Papaya fruit fly cause incalculable damage to horticultural industries and food security across Asia, Africa, the Pacific, and parts of South America. More than 40 researchers from 20 countries examined available evidence and determined that the Carambola fruit fly is a distinct species, but the other four are identical.

"Globally, accepting these four pests as a single species will lead to improved international cooperation in pest management, more effective quarantine measures, reduced barriers to international trade, the wider application of established post-harvest treatments, improved fundamental research and, most importantly, enhanced food security for some of the world's poorest nations," said Dr Mark Schutze, lead author of the Systematic Entomology paper.
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Wiley

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