Mediterranean fruit fly

The Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly), Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) is very destructive fruit pest. The Medfly was recently detected in the Dominican Republic. On March 18, 2015 the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service APHIS issued import restrictions on certain fruits and vegetables subsequent to this detection.

medfly2

Photo credit: Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org, #1317085

The Medfly is considered the most economically important fruit pest due to its wide distribution around the world and wide range of hosts. Medfly larvae feed and develop on many deciduous, subtropical, and tropical fruits and some vegetables. An establishment of Medfly would be devastating to agricultural production in Florida and the United States. Florida has pursued an aggressive and ongoing Medfly detection and control program since the first introduction of Medfly to the State in 1929. To prevent the spread of fruit flies, Florida residents should not move any homegrown fruits or vegetables off their property. In Florida, Inspectors from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services-Division of Plant Industry (FDACS-DPI) continually monitor traps for the appearance of introduced fruit flies. When a non-sterilized adult Medfly is positively identified, the number of baited traps throughout that area is greatly increased to capture the flies and remove them from the environment, and to serve as a monitoring tool for the effectiveness of the eradication program.

Identification:

The adult fly is 3.5 to 5 mm in length. The color is yellowish with brown tinge and some markings on the wings. The lower corners of the face have white setae. Eyes are reddish purple.

 

References:

Dominican Today. Fly prompts US ban on Dominican Republic fruit. Press Release. 28 March 2015. http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/economy/2015/3/18/54552/Fly-prompts-US-ban-on-Dominican-Republic-fruit (Accessed 2 April 2015).

Mediterranean Fruit Fly Cooperative Eradication Program. Pompano Beach, Broward County, Florida Environmental Assessment , February 2011.

http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/ea/downloads/medlfy-pompanobeach-EA_final.pdf

Thomas, M.C., Heppner, J.B., Woodruff, R.E., Weems, H.V., and Steck, G.J. Mediterranean Fruit Fly, Featured Creatures. Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida. Revised September 2010. http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/fruit/mediterranean_fruit_fly.htm (Accessed 2 April 2015).