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Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann)
Insecta, Diptera, Tephritidae .

Mediterranean fruit fly

Description, Biology, Life Cycle, Damage, Common Names, Images

- Adult: yellowish head, emerald green eyes, yellowish-grey thorax and abdomen; wings have three yellow-orange bands, one longitudinal and two transversal (*) .
- Egg: white, tapering, 1 mm long.
- Larva: yellowish-white (*) .
- pupa:reddish-brown (*) .

This fruit fly is found in all regions with a warm climate (Mediterranean type) where it lives on the fruits of many plants such as Citrus, peach, pear, apple, apricot, fig, plum, kiwi, quince, vines, cherry (sweet), pomegranate (Punica), strawberry, etc.
- Adults: using its oviscapt, the female lays its eggs in clusters of 3 to 7, about 2 to 5 mm deep inside fruits (*) . Several females may lay in the same fruit, where up to 80 eggs may be found.
Under optimum conditions, the female may lay 500 to 600 eggs during her life.
- Larva: larvae develop on the pulp of fruits; about 15 days at a mean temperature of 25°C are necessary to complete their development.
- Pupa: does not survive if temperatures are lower than 2°C for a week.
This species usually overwinters as a pupa, buried a few cm deep in the soil. In southern Italy, a small number of individuals may also survive on late-season orange trees.

[R]Life Cycle
- Development of this fruit fly is principally dependant on temperature: the optimum is around 32°C, which enables completion of a generation within 2 weeks.
- In southern Italy, development starts in June on peaches and apricots, being completed on Citrus trees, with a total of 6 to 7 generations.
- In France, this fly does not survive the winter in the north, and only just in the south.
Most infestations arise from fruits imported from regions further south and disposed of without sufficient precautions being taken.

The damage (*) caused by this species is considerable, particularly in the summer and autumn.
Infestation is discerned on the fruit by a mark surrounding the oviposition puncture (*) , this mark increasing in size later. Rotting of the underlying tissue causes a depression on the surface. The fruit drops prematurely.
Even if a fruit has only been pierced, it is totally unsaleable.

Efforts have been made to develop methods of
biological control using the entomophagous insect Opius concolor, but these have not met with great success.
Another, more interesting, attempt was made by introducing males sterilized by ionizing radiation.
Traps baited with attractive food ("fly-traps") have been employed to determine the flight periods of this pest and thus rationalize the application of insecticides.

[R]Common Names
DE: Mittelmeerfruchtfliege ES: Mosca de las frutas FR: Cératite, Mouche méditerranéenne des fruits IT: Mosca mediterranea della frutta PT: Mosca da fruta, Ceratitis GB: Mediterranean fruit fly

[R] Images

  1. Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Female adult About to lay eggs in a peach.
  2. Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Female laying eggs in a peach
  3. Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
  4. Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Damage to peach Affected fruits are going rotten.
  5. Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Coutin R. / OPIE)
    Puparia formed in the soil
  6. Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (INRA)
    Adult emerging
  7. Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) Attacked clementine fruit (Bernard J.-F. / INRA Maroc)
  8. Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) Bites of Mediterranean fruit fly adult female on Citrus zest (Bernard J.-F. / INRA Maroc)
  9. Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) Bites of Mediterranean fruit fly on lemon and orange (Bernard J.-F. / INRA Maroc)

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