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Mexican fruit fly (Anastrepha ludens)

The Mexican fruit fly (Anastrepha ludens), or ‘Mexfly,’ is a serious pest of fruit crops in Mexico. They are especially damaging to citrus, mango, and peaches. They also have a strong affinity for grapefruit. Mexflies are potentially devastating to Florida grapefruit growers, due to the abundant habitat and prolific breeding capabilities of these flies. A single female may lay up to 1,500 eggs in her lifetime. Mexflies are currently found in Texas, Arizona, and southern California. They have been detected a few times in Florida, but thus far have not established due to eradication programs.

Photo: Florida DPI, FDACS, #5190354

Mexican fruit flies are readily distinguished from the more common Caribbean fruit fly by their pale brown color, yellow-banded wings, and ovipositor that extends as long as or longer than the wing tips. Read this Featured Creatures article by Weems et al. (2001) for more information.