Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) is one of the world’s most destructive fruit pests. The Mediterranean fruit fly will lay its eggs in fruits or vegetables, where the eggs hatch and larvae develop. [1] Once the eggs are deposited below the skin they hatch in only a few days, emerging as maggots, or larvae. FRUIT FLY Identification, Facts, & Control Latin Name. In the final stage of the campaign, entomologists released millions of sterile male medflies in an attempt to disrupt the insects' reproductive cycle. [9], Research into the correlation between citrus variety, fruit part and stage of C. capitata has found strong effects on larval performance, smaller effects on pupae, and no effects on eggs. The fly lays as many as 500 eggs in citrus fruits (except lemons and sour limes). In the 1980s, the Western Australia Department of Agriculture conducted a feasibility study into using the Sterile Insect Technique to eradicate the medfly population. In order to begin eradication efforts, the Mass-rearing and Sterilization Laboratory was producing 500 million sterile flies weekly by the end of 1979. [3][6], Because nutrition is a crucial determinant of adult size and development, larva prefer to eat fleshy host fruit. [20], Studies have shown that wild C. capitata flies were found to partake in more head-butting behavior, direct opponent contact, and less likely to cede an occupied leaf to an invader. During phases 3 and 4, the number of released sterile flies increased to 12 million a week and was combined with chemical controls. All other trademarks and copyrights are the property of their respective owners. Get access risk-free for 30 days, On average, the lifespans of flies in captivity are 10 days longer than those of wild flies. As the female approaches, the male tucks his abdomen under his body with his abdominal pouches still inflated and wings still vibrating. It is particularly important to prevent Queensland fruit fly and Mediterranean fruit fly from spreading to South Australia and Tasmania, which are fruit fly free. Appearance Small yellow to orange with red eyes Fruit flies (also known as vinegar flies, pomac flies or drosophila and not to be confused with the Mediterranean fruit fly) are very small flies (about one—fourth inch long) found around decaying vegetation and fruit. [5], Among fruit fly species, C. capitata has the largest variety of host-fruits, including over 200 different types of fruits and vegetables. study © copyright 2003-2021 Study.com. Because of its wide distribution over the world, its ability to tolerate co… [11], In the United States, C. capitata has invaded four states (Hawaii, California, Texas, and Florida) but has been eradicated from all but Hawaii. [3][4], The lifespans of certain species are also affected by periods of food deprivation, which is a key driver of invasion success, adaptation, and biodiversity. Much research has been dedicated to means of controlling the medfly. [23], Medflies were first detected in the region in Costa Rica in 1955. The Geographic Distribution Map of C. capitata (Updated December 2013). The first sign of damage is often larvae-infested or ‘stung’ fruit. Through their findings, the researchers showed that the medfly exhibits extensive sexual shape dimorphism (SShD) between the proximal and distal part of the wing. The medfly's wings contain a band across the middle of the wing with dark streaks and spots in the middle of the wing cells. In the instances where host fruit is plentiful in their current locations, they will not disperse beyond 300–700 feet. Mitchell WC, Andrew CO, Hagen KS, Hamilton RA, Harris EJ, Maehler KL, Rhode RH. This difference can be used to distinguish between the two sexes since male wings tend to be wider and shorter in comparison to females. Its scientific name is Ceratitis capitata.It has yellow, black, and white markings. [2], Medflies can complete their life cycles in 21 days in optimum conditions. | {{course.flashcardSetCount}} There have been occasional medfly infestations in the states of California, Florida, and Texas that required extensive eradication efforts to prevent the fly from establishing itself in the US. The oldest populations of mediterranean fruit flies (a.k.a. medflies) can be traced back to the African tropics in the Ethiopian biogeographic region. Meyer CA. This anatomical difference is important because this allows males to displace more air and create a more audible “buzzing” effect during mate attraction.[1][2]. Females exhibit this preference until mating occurs, following which they prefer the host fruit odor. Recent studies into the starvation resistance (SR) of C. capitata has found that SR decreases with increasing age and that age-specific patterns are shaped in relation to adult and larval diet. The mating ritual in this species of fly can be separated into two basic phases: (1) lek behavior and (2) courtship. [18], In a 1987 study completed by Postlethwait et al., researchers assessed the immune response of the medfly using bacterial inoculation. It is not found in the greater Sunraysia region and it is important to ensure it is not introduced into the area. Medfly, as it is commonly known, has been recorded to infest more than 200 hosts worldwide. Louisiana Alternative Teacher Certification, Tech and Engineering - Questions & Answers, Health and Medicine - Questions & Answers, Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. You can test out of the Fruit flies also may breed and develop in drains, garbage disposals, trash cans, and mop buckets. To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member. Mediterranean fruit fly, also called Med Fly, particularly destructive and costly insect pest, a species of fruit fly (q.v. [6] C. capitata in the adult and larval stage feed in different ways. Larvae leave fruit through large exit hole. The Med fly prefers thinskinned, ripe succulent fruits such as deciduous fruits (for example, pear, peach, and apple) more than citrus fruits. Fruit fly can survive in various habitats, but it does not tolerate areas associated with extreme climate conditions such as deserts and high mountains. In 1981, California Governor Jerry Brown, who had established a reputation as a strong environmentalist, was confronted with a serious medfly infestation in the San Francisco Bay Area. 2003) Means of Introduction: Usually through imported fruit and other crops infested with fruit fly larvae ( Silva et al. A 2005 study conducted by Sela et al. Most of the damage to fruit is done by just 2 species - the exotic Mediterranean Fruit Fly on the western side of the continent and the native Queensland Fruit Fly in the east. [1] By the end of the third and final instar of the medfly, the larvae measure between 7 and 9 mm and about 8 fusiform areas.[1]. [1] There have been occasional medfly infestations in the states of California, Florida, and Texas that required extensive eradication efforts to prevent the fly from establishing itself in the US. Ceratitis capitata, commonly known as the Mediterranean fruit fly or medfly, is a yellow and brown fruit pest that originates from sub-Saharan Africa. Report suspected Mediterranean fruit fly to Biosecurity Queensland immediately on 13 25 23 or contact the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881. The California Department of Food and Agriculture and cooperating county and federal agricultural officials started eradication and quarantine efforts in the area. If you've ever had an infestation of fruit flies in your house, you know how cumbersome it can be to get rid of them. It’s wide host range and tolerance of cooler climates makes it highly invasive. This period corresponded to 3 fly generations; a threshold of eradication utilized by Hendrichs et al. Males in the “face-off” position can last up to 5 minutes until one male eventually turns and leaves the territory. What Are the NGSS Cross Cutting Concepts? Medflies are slightly smaller than the average housefly and have black, brown, and yellow markings. [14] This finding has been evidenced by a specific protein, CcapObp22, that shows approximately 37% identity with the pheromone binding protein of Drosophila melanogaster. Mediterranean Fruit Fly Facts For more information visit www.suterra.com Easy and quick to apply and effective against the pest. [1] The practices used to eradicate the medfly after its introduction into a new environment can be extremely difficult and expensive, but infestation of C. capitata will induce lower crop yields and costly sorting processes for fresh fruits and vegetables. While larva prefer the middle of the fruit, adults prefer the fruit portion that contains more nutritional value in comparison to the flesh. Female medflies oviposit in groups of roughly 10-14 eggs and deposit them just under the skin surface of their host fruit. It can be up to 9 mm long but not much larger. [19], Since it has been established that C. capitata is a cosmopolitan pest that affects hundreds of commercial and wild fruit species, considerable research has been done to assess the medfly's ability to transmit diseases. In lab conditions, under controlled diets of sugar and protein, the life expectancy of females is usually longer than that of males by 1.5 days. An infestation of this size and scope is not only costly to eradicate, but can also cause serious damage to farms and livelihoods. [1], The lifespan of the C. capitata is quite short as half of most populations die in under 60 days. When it has been detected in Florida, California, and Texas, especially in recent years, each infestation necessitated intensive and massive eradication and detection procedures so that the pest did not become established. This species is native to both the Ethiopian and Palearctic regions, and introduced populations have since been discovered in all of the biogeographic regions. Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer a question about the origin of the medfly medflies) can be traced back to the African tropics in the Ethiopian biogeographic region. He was advised by the state's agricultural industry and the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection service (APHIS) to authorize airborne spraying of the region. Phase 1 of this study utilized 70 traps to establish the seasonal abundance of wild fly prior to releases. Adults feed on plant nectar, decaying fruit, and other sweet liquids. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 81(1), 31-38. doi: 10.1007/BF00187835 {{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | 1976. Visit the Kingdom Animalia: Study Guide & Review page to learn more. 2003) Date of U.S. Introduction: 1910 (Hawaii); infestations in the continental U.S. began in 1929 ( APHIS 2003; Silva et al. These fruits include but are not limited to akee, star apple, oranges, grapefruit, guava, mango, plum, and pears. Larvae may be removed from infected fruit and identified in the lab. This finding showed that the medfly has the potential to be a vector of human pathogens to fruits. [22] It has also been eradicated from New Zealand and Chile. Diptera: Definition, Characteristics & Anatomy, Over 83,000 lessons in all major subjects, {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}}, Fruit Fly Life Cycle: Eggs, Larva & Metamorphosis, Fruit Flies: Reproduction, Gestation & Breeding Cycle, Arbovirus: Definition, Classification & Diseases, Biological and Biomedical Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer a question about the origin of the medfly In short, pulp chemical properties such as acidity and soluble solid contents had little effect on larval and pupal survival but larger effects on pupal weight. To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page. Sarah has two Master's, one in Zoology and one in GIS, a Bachelor's in Biology, and has taught college level Physical Science and Biology. Get the unbiased info you need to find the right school. Diets with high protein to carbohydrate ratios produced larvae with high protein and lipid contents. Eradication of this fly from Florida in 1929 cost approximately six million dollars. [16] Unusually for a dipteran and for a frugivore, medflies do not have an opsin gene for blue light perception as shown from the whole-genome sequencing project completed in September 2016. Originally from Sub-Saharan Africa, this fruit fly now calls many places around the world 'home.' Mexican fruit fly was first found in Central Mexico in 1863, and by the early 1950s flies were found along the California-Mexico border. C. capitata flies are known to disperse up to distances of 12 miles in search of host fruit. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Their diet preferences have been proven by studies in which medflies placed at the top of oranges and papayas consistently moved lower to the nutrient dense parts whereas flies placed near the bottom remained in their starting location. In response to such concerns, Brown's chief of staff, B. T. Collins, staged a news conference during which he publicly drank a small glass of malathion. Within 1–2 seconds of head movement initiation, the male begins rhythmically wing its fannings and moves closer to the female. 2003) Impact: Starvation resistance is a plastic trait that varies due to the relation between environmental and genetic factors. Adult medflies can be caught in baited traps that are set out among the plants. [12] A study conducted by Chuchill-Stanland et al., showed that a male's size can dictate their mating success rate. This is a very real concern with the Mediterranean fruit fly, or 'medfly,' which is not your average fruit fly. [1], C. capitata eggs are characterized by their curved shape, shiny white color, and smooth features. Select a subject to preview related courses: Medflies can also be detected in and among the crop itself. The Mediterranean fruit fly and its economic impact on Central American countries and Panama. Conversely, diets with a low protein to carbohydrate ratio led to pupating larvae having relatively reduced loads of lipids. In Phase 2 of the study, the Department of Agriculture released 7.5 million sterile flies per week; however, this was insufficient in limiting the wild fly population. It is a rapid colonizer and unlike most species of fruit flies, it can tolerate cooler climates. credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. The highest survival rate was shown to be on bitter oranges; however, the shortest developmental time and heaviest pupae were obtained from orange cultivars. The Mexican Fruit Fly (Anastrepha ludens) is a serious pest to various fruits, particularly citrus and mango. [1], C. capitata is the most economically important fruit fly species because of its ability to survive in cooler climates more successfully than most other fly species, and its ability to inhabit over 200+ tropical fruits and vegetables to which it causes severe destruction and degradation. At the next stage, the larva pupates by forming a hard shell around itself. How did the medfly spread so far and wide? ). It certainly didn't use its tiny fruit fly wings to cross oceans. Last Updated: 10/23/08. Furthermore, females exhibited higher SR than males, and the greatest influence on SR in C. capitata was due to age and adult diet followed by gender and larval diet. This interaction lasts until either party loses position or eventually leaves the position. The destructive insect known as the Mediterranean fruit fly (or medfly) attacks fruit, nuts, and vegetables. [26], During the week of September 9, 2007, adult flies and their larvae were found in Dixon, California. 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