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Ecological niches and potential geographical distributions of Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) and Natal fruit fly (Ceratitis rosa)

Authors

  • M. De Meyer,

    1. Royal Museum for Central Africa, Entomology Section, Tervuren, B-3080 Tervuren, Belgium
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  • M. P. Robertson,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
      *Mark Robertson, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0001, South Africa.
      E-mail: mrobertson@zoology.up.ac.za.
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  • A. T. Peterson,

    1. Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA
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  • M. W. Mansell

    1. Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
    2. United States Department of Agriculture, APHIS, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
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*Mark Robertson, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0001, South Africa.
E-mail: mrobertson@zoology.up.ac.za.

Abstract

Aim  To predict and compare potential geographical distributions of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) and Natal fruit fly (Ceratitis rosa).

Location  Africa, southern Europe, and worldwide.

Methods  Two correlative ecological niche modelling techniques, genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction (GARP) and a technique based on principal components analysis (PCA), were used to predict distributions of the two fly species using distribution records and a set of environmental predictor variables.

Results  The two species appear to have broadly similar potential ranges in Africa and southern Europe, with much of sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar predicted as highly suitable. The drier regions of Africa (central and western regions of southern Africa and Sahelian zone) were identified as being less suitable for C. rosa than for C. capitata. Overall, the proportion of the region predicted to be highly suitable is larger for C. capitata than for C. rosa under both techniques, suggesting that C. capitata may be tolerant of a wider range of climatic conditions than C. rosa. Worldwide, tropical and subtropical regions are highlighted as highly suitable for both species. Differences in overlap of predictions from the two models for these species were observed. An evaluation using independent records from the adventive range for C. capitata and comparison with other predictions suggest that GARP models offer more accurate predictions than PCA models.

Main conclusions  This study suggests that these species have broadly similar potential distributions worldwide (based on climate), although the potential distribution appears to be broader for C. capitata than for C. rosa. Ceratitis capitata has become invasive throughout the world, whereas C. rosa has not, despite both species having broadly similar potential distributions. Further research into the biology of these species and their ability to overcome barriers is necessary to explain this difference, and to better understand invasion risk.

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