Distribution and eradication of an exotic tephritid fruit fly in Australia: relevance of invasion theory
Data from the eradication of the incursion of Bactrocera papayae Drew and Hancock (Dipt.: Tephritidae) in Australia (1995-1998) are used to assess the significance of various aspects of invasion theory, including the influence of towns on establishment, influence of propagule pressure on the pattern of establishment, and the existence of source-sink dynamics. Because there were no sentinel traps in place, considerable spread had occurred before the eradication campaign started. The distribution of fly density around the epicentre in the town of Cairns and a transect along the main traffic routes to the north and south fitted a Cauchy model with a tail having the same slope as a power model with an exponent of )2.4 extending to 160 km. The Cauchy model indicated that 50% of the flies on the transect would have occurred within 3.2 km of the epicentre, 90% within 13.2 km, and 99% within 60 km. The two major satellites at Mareeba (35 km from the epicentre in Cairns) and Mossman (65 km) were not used for the transect data and had respectively 15 and 30 times the density predicted by the model. The proportion of traps that caught flies (a measure of site occupancy) fell with distance from the epicentre. B. papayae was trapped consistently on only three of the 16 rainforest transects that were surveyed and these were relatively close to urban areas where eradication efforts were intense. Despite there being no eradication effort in the rainforest, the trends to extinction were similar to those in adjacent areas. The strategy of initially concentrating eradication efforts on the core and major satellites while maintaining a quarantine barrier at the airport and the boundaries of the infested area appears to be the key to the containment and rapid eradication of the incursion.
Journal of Applied Entomology (Print)