Mediterranean Fruit Flies (Ceratitis capitata)

Agricultural Disaster Preparedness and Recovery March 09, 2010|Print
Image:MaleMedfly1.jpgMediterranean fruit flies (i.e. medflies) are one of the most serious agricultural pests, particularly in the tropics and subtropics. California, Texas, and Florida are particularly vigilant about medfly detection because the potential for destruction of citrus and vegetable crops is high.
Mediterranean Fruit Fly Ceratitis capitata

Mediterranean fruit flies (i.e. medflies) are one of the most serious agricultural pests, particularly in the tropics and subtropics. Medflies are common in the Mediterranean, southern Europe, western Australia, South and Central America, and Hawaii. California, Texas, and Florida are particularly vigilant about medfly detection because the potential for destruction of citrus and vegetable crops is high.


Damage occurs when medfly larvae emerge from eggs and begin feeding on the inside of fruits or vegetables. When fully grown, larvae make an exit hole and drop to the ground to pupate. Pupae mature into adults, which emerge from the soil. Under tropical conditions, the medfly life cycle is completed in 21-30 days.


Adult medflies are about the size of a housefly and have a yellowish abdomen with silver cross bands. Their wings appear blotchy with yellow, brown, and black coloration.


Additional information on the Mediterranean fruit fly can be found at:

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