Introduction of Bactrocera cucurbitae in the Seychelles and eradication programme
In November 1999, the presence of Bactrocera cucurbitae (Diptera: Tephritidae – EPPO A1 list) was first observed on Mahé Island in the Seychelles. It is suspected that the melon fly was introduced by an aircraft meal containing fresh fruits and vegetables which had not been properly disposed of at the International airport. The melon fly soon became established on Mahé Island and spread to other islands of the archipelago. An eradication programme has been set up. A trapping network is being established on the basis of a 1 km² grid, with one trap placed in the centre of each unit, to delimit the extent of the infestation. These traps contain a parapheromone and an insecticide. This trapping phase will be followed by an eradication phase using the male annihilation technique with blocks of wood soaked in methyl eugenol and insecticide. The eradication campaign will start at the beginning of the dry season in April 2004. According to the EPPO Secretariat this is the first report of B. cucurbitae in the Seychelles.
The situation of B. cucurbitae in the Seychelles can be described as follows: Present, first found in 1999, under eradication.
Knight, J. (2003) Trouble in paradise – the eradication of an alien invader.
AAB News, no. 52, 89