Bactrocera oleae (Rossi) (Diptera: Tephritidae, Dacinae) is an oligophagous species that feeds only on cultivated olives (Olea europaea L.) and its close relatives. Synchrony of seasonal activity patterns of B. oleae, the olive fruit fly with its host's phenology is therefore expected. The objective of this study was to monitor the male olive fruit fly response to female sex pheromone in the field. White sticky traps were deployed year round for 3 yr in an olive orchard in Oroville, CA. They were checked periodically, and flies captured were counted and sexed. Although males were captured regularly, the numbers of females captured on pheromone traps were negligible. Food-baited traps and water-baited traps were deployed to show the presence of flies in the field. Our hypothesis that males would respond to pheromone when females were available and olive fruits were susceptible for oviposition was partially supported. There were two peaks of high male captures in pheromone traps: spring and fall. In spring, females were available and mature but few acceptable olives were available for oviposition (no new crop olives yet). In fall, females were present but many of the new crop olives were already infested. The food baited traps confirmed the presence of flies in the field even when very few were being captured in the pheromone-baited traps. Traps containing only water caught only two flies showing that water alone or the trap type in itself was not attractive to files.
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Vol. 42 • No. 6