Risk assessment and spread of the potentially invasive Ceratitis rosa and Ceratitis quilicii sp. Nov. using life-cycle simulation models: Implications for phytosanitary measures and management
Integrative taxonomy has resolved the species status of the potentially invasive Ceratitis rosaKarsch into two separate species with distinct ecological requirements: C. rosa “lowland type” and the newly described species Ceratitis quilicii De Meyer, Mwatawala & Virgilio sp. nov. “highland type”. Both species are tephritid pests threatening the production of horticultural crops in Africa and beyond. Studies were carried out by constructing thermal reaction norms for each life stage of both species at constant and fluctuating temperatures. Non-linear functions were fitted to continuously model species development, mortality, longevity and oviposition to establish phenology models that were stochastically simulated to estimate the life table parameters of each species. For spatial analysis of pest risk, three generic risk indices were visualized using the advanced Insect Life Cycle Modeling software. The study revealed that the highest fecundity, intrinsic rate of natural increase and net reproductive rate for C. rosa and C. quilicii was at 25 and 30°C, respectively. The resulting model successfully fits the known distribution of C. rosa and C. quilicii in Africa and the two Indian Ocean islands of La Réunion and Mauritius. Globally, the model highlights the substantial invasion risk posed by C. rosa and C. quilicii to cropping regions in the Americas, Australia, India, China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and West and Central Africa. However, the proportion of the regions predicted to be climatically suitable for both pests is narrower for C. rosa in comparison with C. quilicii, suggesting that C. quilicii will be more tolerant to a wider range of climatic conditions than C. rosa. This implies that these pests are of significant concern to biosecurity agencies in the uninvaded regions. Therefore, these findings provide important information to enhance monitoring/surveillance and designing pest management strategies to limit the spread and reduce their impact in the invaded range.
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