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Australian Wildlife

  Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata)





Mediterranean Fruit Fly | Ceratitis capitata photo
Mediterranean Fruit Fly

Image by Alvesgaspar - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



INSECT FACTS

Identification
The Mediterranean Fruit Fly has an oval abdomen with fine black bristles above, and two narrow light bands on the rear half of the body. The thorax is white or yellow with pattern of black blotches. The wings are held in a drooping position on live flies, and are broad with yellow, brown and black markings and yellow brown band across the middle of wing.

Size
length 3.5mm - 5mm

Food
The Mediterranean Fruit Fly is one of the most destructive agricultural pests in the world. It can infest over two hundred varieties of fruit and vegetables, especially stone fruits such as peaches, apricots and nectarines, and fruit such as apples, pears and citrus. The female attacks ripening fruit by piercing and laying her eggs under the skin. The eggs hatch into larvae which feed inside the fruit.

Breeding
The female lays about 300 to 400 eggs during her lifetime. The eggs hatch into white maggots that feed on and damage the host fruit. At maturity the maggot drops to the ground and pupates in the soil. The lifecycle can complete in 21 to 30 days in summer, but longer in cooler conditions.

Range
In Australia it is found in south west Western Australia with outbreaks in other states particularly South Australia.



Classification
Class:Insecta
Order:Diptera
Family:Tephritidae
Genus:Ceratitis
Species:capitata
Common Name:Mediterranean Fruit Fly