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Datasheet

Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 11 October 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Host Animal
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Ceratitis capitata
  • Preferred Common Name
  • Mediterranean fruit fly
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • C. capitata is a highly invasive species. It has a high dispersive ability, a very large host range and a tolerance of both natural and cultivated habitats over a comparatively wide temperature range. It has a...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); adult.
TitleAdult
CaptionCeratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); adult.
Copyright©Daniel Feliciano - CC BY-SA 3.0
Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); adult.
AdultCeratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); adult.©Daniel Feliciano - CC BY-SA 3.0
Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); adult. Museum set specimen.
TitleAdult
CaptionCeratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); adult. Museum set specimen.
Copyright©CABI
Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); adult. Museum set specimen.
AdultCeratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); adult. Museum set specimen.©CABI
Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); head, female, oc s = ocellar setae.
TitleFemale head
CaptionCeratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); head, female, oc s = ocellar setae.
Copyright©CABI
Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); head, female, oc s = ocellar setae.
Female headCeratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); head, female, oc s = ocellar setae.©CABI
Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); head, male, showing spatulate orbital setae.
TitleMale head
CaptionCeratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); head, male, showing spatulate orbital setae.
Copyright©CABI
Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); head, male, showing spatulate orbital setae.
Male headCeratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); head, male, showing spatulate orbital setae.©CABI
Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); spatulate (capitate) orbital seta of male.
TitleMale seta
CaptionCeratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); spatulate (capitate) orbital seta of male.
Copyright©CABI
Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); spatulate (capitate) orbital seta of male.
Male setaCeratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); spatulate (capitate) orbital seta of male.©CABI
Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); aculeus, dorsal view (optical section) of apex.
TitleAculeus
CaptionCeratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); aculeus, dorsal view (optical section) of apex.
Copyright©CABI
Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); aculeus, dorsal view (optical section) of apex.
AculeusCeratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly); aculeus, dorsal view (optical section) of apex.©CABI

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann)

Preferred Common Name

  • Mediterranean fruit fly

Other Scientific Names

  • Ceratitis citriperda MacLeay
  • Ceratitis hispanica Breme
  • Pardalaspis asparagi Bezzi
  • Tephritis capitata Wiedemann

International Common Names

  • English: fruit fly, Mediterranean; medfly
  • Spanish: gusano de las frutas; mosca de las frutas; mosca del mediterraneo; mosca mediterranea; mosca Mediterránea de la fruta; moscamed
  • French: mouche de l'oranger; mouche des fruits; mouche méditerranéenne des fruits
  • Portuguese: mosca das frutas; mosca do Mediterraneo

Local Common Names

  • Denmark: middelhavsfrugtflue
  • Finland: hedelmäkärpänen
  • Germany: Fliege, Orangen-; Fliege, Pfirsich-; Fruchtfliege, Mittelmeer-; Mittelmeerfruchtfliege; Orangenfliege; Pfirsichfliege
  • Israel: zvuv haperot
  • Italy: mosca delle arancie; mosca delle pesche
  • Netherlands: fruitvlieg, middellandse zee
  • Norway: appelsinflue
  • South Africa: vrugtevlieë
  • Sweden: medelhavsfruktfluga
  • Turkey: akdeniz meyve sinegi; meyve sinekleri

EPPO code

  • CERTCA (Ceratitis capitata)

Summary of Invasiveness

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C. capitata is a highly invasive species. It has a high dispersive ability, a very large host range and a tolerance of both natural and cultivated habitats over a comparatively wide temperature range. It has a high economic impact, affecting production, control costs and market access. It has successfully established in many parts of the world, often as a result of multiple introductions (Malacrida et al., 2007). Frequent incursions into North America require expensive eradication treatments and many countries maintain extensive monitoring networks.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Diptera
  •                         Family: Tephritidae
  •                             Genus: Ceratitis
  •                                 Species: Ceratitis capitata

Description

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Larva

For identification of the third-instar larva, see White and Elson-Harris (1994).

Adult

C. capitata belongs to a group of eight or nine species placed in the subgenus Ceratitis s.s. (De Meyer, 2000). The adults are readily recognisable by external morphology, particularly thoracic and wing patterns (White and Elson-Harris, 1994). The males have a characteristically shaped pair of lower orbital setae, the apex black and diamond-shaped. For a complete description see De Meyer (2000), who also provides a key for the separation of similar species.

Distribution

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C. capitata is widespread in Africa and is endemic to most sub-Saharan countries. It was recorded from western Zambia by Munro (1953) and Namibia by Hancock et al. (2001). The lack of records or reports of 'restricted distributions' in many African countries is likely to reflect the lack of observations rather than absence. The spread to Europe, Egypt, the Middle East, the Malagasy subregion, Australia and the Americas is likely to be a result of accidental transportation during trade. Jafari and Sabzewari (1982) recorded C. capitata from the Mazandaran Province of Iran, where it was first detected in 1977. Kassim and Soilihi (2000) recorded it from the Comoros.

The first records from the Amazon area of Brazil were in 1996 for Rondonia (Ronchi-Teles et al., 1996) and in 1997 for Para (Gomes-Silva et al., 1998). The record of C. capitata in the Mariana Islands in CIE (1988) is incorrect. Reports of C. capitata from Suriname (e.g. Gasparich et al., 1997) refer to mislabelled specimens originally from California. It has been recorded intermittently in the Ukraine between 1937 and 1966 (Fischer-Colbrie and Busch-Petersen, 1989), in California since 1975, in Florida since 1929 and in Texas since 1966 (Gasparich et al., 1997). It has been argued that, despite numerous eradication campaigns, C. capitata is now established and widespread in California as small, barely detectable populations (Papadopoulos et al., 2013).

In Chile it was present from 1963 to 1995 (Diaz et al., 1999). In New South Wales, Australia, it was first recorded in 1898 and had disappeared by 1948 (Orian and Moutia, 1960; Permkam and Hancock, 1995). In Queensland, Australia it was formerly present in the southeast and first recorded in 1909. It disappeared during the 1930s (Permkam and Hancock, 1995). Occasional outbreaks occur in South Australia. In Victoria, Australia it was first recorded in 1909 and had disappeared by the 1940s (Permkam and Hancock, 1995). It has been eradicated in New Zealand, but an outbreak occurred in 1996 (Holder et al., 1977). In Jamaica, a C. capitata surveillance programme has been on-going since 2000 and has revealed no evidence that this pest occurs there (C Thomas, Chief Plant Quarantine Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Kingston, Jamaica, personal communication, 2004).

C. capitata has been reported in Kaoma, Western Province and Chilanga-Lusaka, Zambia during a surveillance programme by ICIPE and APHIS (A Sakala, Plant Quarantine Service, Zambia: identification by Marc De Meyer, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium).

A record of C. capitata in Hubei, China (Lu et al., 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2015) published in previous versions of the Compendium is invalid. The paper by Lu et al. (2006) on which it is based refers to the Chinese citrus fly, Bactrocera minax, not C. capitata.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

AfghanistanAbsent, unreliable recordEPPO, 2014
ChinaAbsent, invalid recordCABI/EPPO, 2015
-HubeiAbsent, invalid recordLu et al., 2006; CABI/EPPO, 2015
IndiaAbsent, unreliable recordEPPO, 2014
-BiharAbsent, formerly present1907EPPO, 2014
IranRestricted distributionIntroduced1977 Invasive Jafari and Sabzewari, 1982; Fischer-Colbrie and Busch-Petersen, 1989; CABI/EPPO, 2015
IraqRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
IsraelWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Fimiani, 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
JordanPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
Korea, Republic ofAbsent, intercepted onlyEPPO, 2014
LebanonPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
Saudi ArabiaPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
SingaporeAbsent, no pest recordEPPO, 2014; IPPC, 2015
SyriaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; Ali et al., 2015; CABI/EPPO, 2015
TurkeyWidespreadIntroduced**** Invasive Fimiani, 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
YemenPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015

Africa

AlgeriaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Fimiani, 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
AngolaRestricted distributionNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
BeninPresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
BotswanaPresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
Burkina FasoPresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
BurundiRestricted distributionNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
CameroonPresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
Cape VerdePresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
ComorosPresentIntroduced Invasive Kassim and Soilihi, 2000; CABI/EPPO, 2015
CongoRestricted distributionNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
Congo Democratic RepublicWidespreadNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
Côte d'IvoirePresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
EgyptWidespreadIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
EritreaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2015
EthiopiaPresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
GabonPresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
GhanaPresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
GuineaRestricted distributionNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
KenyaWidespreadNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
LiberiaPresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
LibyaRestricted distributionIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
MadagascarRestricted distributionIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
MalawiPresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
MaliPresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
MauritiusPresentIntroduced Invasive Orian and Moutia, 1960; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
MoroccoWidespreadIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
MozambiqueRestricted distributionNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
NamibiaWidespreadNative Not invasive Hancock et al., 2001; CABI/EPPO, 2015
NigerPresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
NigeriaRestricted distributionNative Not invasive Umeh et al., 2008; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
RéunionRestricted distributionIntroduced Invasive De Meyer, 2000; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
Saint HelenaRestricted distributionIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
Sao Tome and PrincipePresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
SenegalPresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
SeychellesRestricted distributionIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
Sierra LeonePresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
South AfricaWidespreadNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
Spain
-Canary IslandsPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
SudanWidespreadNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
SwazilandPresentCABI/EPPO, 2015
TanzaniaWidespreadNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
TogoPresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
TunisiaWidespreadIntroduced**** Invasive Fimiani, 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
UgandaPresentNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
ZambiaRestricted distributionNative Not invasive Munro, 1953; CABI/EPPO, 2015
ZimbabweWidespreadNative Not invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015

North America

BermudaEradicatedIntroduced Invasive Hilburn and Dow, 1990; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
MexicoEradicatedIntroduced Invasive Enkerlin et al., 1989; IPPC, 2006; EPPO, 2014; SAGARPA, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
USARestricted distributionIntroduced1910 Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015Established only in Hawaii. Eradicated from mainland USA (NAPPO, 2013).
-CaliforniaTransient: actionable, under eradicationGasparich et al., 1997; EPPO, 2014; NAPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015; NAPPO, 2016
-FloridaEradicatedIntroducedGasparich et al., 1997; NAPPO, 2011; NAPPO, 2011; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-HawaiiWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Gasparich et al., 1997; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-TexasEradicatedIntroduced1966 Invasive Gasparich et al., 1997; EPPO, 2014

Central America and Caribbean

BelizeEradicatedIntroduced1989 Invasive EPPO, 2014
Costa RicaWidespreadIntroduced1955 Invasive Enkerlin et al., 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
Dominican RepublicPresent, few occurrencesCABI/EPPO, 2015
El SalvadorRestricted distributionIntroduced1975 Invasive Enkerlin et al., 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
GuatemalaRestricted distributionIntroduced1975 Invasive Enkerlin et al., 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
HondurasRestricted distributionIntroduced1975 Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
JamaicaAbsent, unreliable recordEPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
Netherlands AntillesAbsent, unreliable recordEPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
NicaraguaPresentIntroduced1960 Invasive Enkerlin et al., 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
PanamaPresentIntroduced1963 Invasive Enkerlin et al., 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
Puerto RicoTransient: actionable, under eradicationIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015; EPPO, 2016

South America

ArgentinaRestricted distributionIntroduced Invasive De Longo et al., 2000; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
BoliviaPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
BrazilWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Enkerlin et al., 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-AlagoasPresentEPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-AmapaPresentEPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-BahiaPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-CearaPresentEPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Espirito SantoPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-GoiasPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-MaranhaoPresentEPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Mato GrossoPresentEPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Mato Grosso do SulPresentEPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Minas GeraisPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-ParaPresentIntroduced Invasive Gomes-Silva et al., 1998; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-ParaibaPresentLopes et al., 2008; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-ParanaPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-PernambucoPresentParanhos et al., 2010; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-PiauiPresentFeitosa et al., 2007; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Rio de JaneiroPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Rio Grande do NortePresentEPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Rio Grande do SulPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-RondoniaPresentIntroduced Invasive Ronchi-Teles et al., 1996; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-RoraimaPresentTrassato et al., 2017
-Santa CatarinaPresentAlberti et al., 2009; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Sao PauloPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-TocantinsPresentEPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
ChilePresent, few occurrencesIntroduced1963 Invasive Caraphin 14 (June, 1996); Diaz et al., 1999; IPPC, 2007; IPPC, 2009; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
ColombiaPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
EcuadorRestricted distributionIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
ParaguayWidespreadIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
PeruPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
SurinameAbsent, confirmed by surveyEPPO, 2014
UruguayWidespreadIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
VenezuelaPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015

Europe

AlbaniaPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
AustriaTransient: actionable, under eradicationEPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
BelgiumAbsent, formerly presentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014
Bosnia-HercegovinaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2015
BulgariaPresent, few occurrences****EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
CroatiaRestricted distributionIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
CyprusWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Fimiani, 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
Czech RepublicAbsent, intercepted onlyEPPO 2001; EPPO, 2014
FranceRestricted distributionIntroduced Invasive Fimiani, 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-CorsicaPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-France (mainland)Restricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2015
GermanyAbsent, formerly presentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014
GreeceWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Fimiani, 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-CretePresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Greece (mainland)PresentCABI/EPPO, 2015
GuernseyRestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2015
HungaryAbsent, formerly presentIntroduced1991 Invasive EPPO, 2014
ItalyWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Fimiani, 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Italy (mainland)PresentCABI/EPPO, 2015
-SardiniaPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-SicilyPresentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
LithuaniaAbsent, intercepted onlyEPPO, 2014
LuxembourgAbsent, formerly presentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014
MaltaWidespreadIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
MontenegroPresentRadonjic, 2006; Radonjic and Hrncic, 2011; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
NetherlandsAbsent, formerly presentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
NorwayAbsent, intercepted onlyEPPO, 2014
PortugalWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Fimiani, 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-AzoresPresentIntroduced Invasive MacLeay, 1829; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-MadeiraPresentIntroduced Invasive Fimiani, 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Portugal (mainland)PresentCABI/EPPO, 2015
RomaniaRestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2015
Russian FederationPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Southern RussiaPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
SerbiaRestricted distributionEPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
SlovakiaAbsent, intercepted onlyEPPO, 2014
SloveniaRestricted distributionIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
SpainWidespreadIntroduced Invasive Fimiani, 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Balearic IslandsRestricted distributionIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Spain (mainland)PresentCABI/EPPO, 2015
SwedenAbsent, intercepted onlyEPPO, 2014
SwitzerlandRestricted distributionIntroduced Invasive Fischer-Colbrie and Busch-Petersen, 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
UKAbsent, formerly presentIntroduced1869 Invasive EPPO, 2014
UkraineTransient: actionable, under eradicationIntroduced1964 Invasive Fischer-Colbrie and Busch-Petersen, 1989; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015

Oceania

AustraliaRestricted distributionIntroduced189* Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Australian Northern TerritoryAbsent, intercepted onlyHancock et al., 2000; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-New South WalesAbsent, formerly presentIntroduced Invasive Orian and Moutia, 1960; Permkam and Hancock, 1995; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-QueenslandAbsent, never occurred Not invasive Permkam and Hancock, 1995; EPPO, 2014
-South AustraliaAbsent, formerly presentIntroduced Invasive EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-VictoriaAbsent, never occurred Not invasive Permkam and Hancock, 1995; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
-Western AustraliaRestricted distributionIntroduced Invasive Permkam and Hancock, 1995; EPPO, 2014; CABI/EPPO, 2015
New ZealandEradicatedIntroduced Invasive Mathews, 1996; Holder et al., 1997; EPPO, 2014
Northern Mariana IslandsAbsent, invalid recordEPPO, 2014

History of Introduction and Spread

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C. capitata is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa but has been accidentally spread to many other regions. Its presence in Europe was first reported in 1842 (Fimiani, 1989), although damage attributed to C. capitata has been known in southern France since at least 1772 (Fischer-Colbrie and Busch-Petersen, 1989). The relative lack of diversity in mtDNA haplotypes in Egyptian populations compared with sub-Saharan ones (Gasparich et al., 1997) suggests it has been introduced into Egypt, from where it has been known for a long time (Fimiani, 1989).

Following its detection in Spain in 1842, C. capitata was identified in Italy prior to 1863, France prior to 1885, Portugal in 1898, Israel prior to 1900, Turkey in 1904, Cyprus prior to 1914 and Greece in 1915 (Fimiani, 1989). The European and Middle Eastern populations have similar mtDNA haplotypes to those from Egypt, rather than from North Africa (Gasparich et al., 1997). This suggests that either the original European population (possibly in France) came from Egypt prior to the 1770s or, more likely, the Egyptian population arrived from Europe sometime during the nineteenth century. Intermittent outbreaks occurred between 1937 and 1966 in the Ukraine (Fischer-Colbrie and Busch-Petersen, 1989). Data from mtDNA haplotypes (Gasparich et al., 1997) suggest that West Africa is a likely source for the original European-Egyptian population; an African source was also suggested by Gasperi et al. (2002).

In North Africa, the presence of C. capitata was first reported from Tunisia in 1855 and Algeria in the late 1850s (Fimiani, 1989). The unusual mtDNA haplotypes in this population (Gasparich et al., 1997) suggest an invasion unrelated to that through Europe, possibly directly from West Africa. The origin of the populations in Madeira and the Azores, where C. capitata has been present since about 1829 (MacLeay, 1829; Fimiani, 1989), has not been determined.

In the Malagasy Region, C. capitata has been introduced to Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius and Réunion. The dates of introduction are unknown, but it was established in Réunion by 1939 (De Meyer, 2000) and in Mauritius by 1942 (Orian and Moutia, 1960). The source of these populations has not been determined but is likely to be eastern or southern Africa. The Réunion population has a higher genetic variability than those from Europe or North Africa (Salah Oukil et al., 2002).

C. capitata was first recorded in Western Australia in 1896 and New South Wales in 1898, from where it spread to southeast Queensland and Victoria by 1909 (Permkam and Hancock, 1995). It disappeared from the eastern States prior to 1948, possibly as a result of more effective control measures and competition from the Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Orian and Moutia, 1960; Permkam and Hancock, 1995). The Australian population is more likely to have originated in southern Africa than Europe. Occasional outbreaks in South Australia have been eradicated.

The first record of C. capitata from Hawaii is 1907 (Gasparich et al., 1997). Originally believed to be of Australian origin (Harris, 1989), its mtDNA haplotype is very different from that of the current Western Australian population (Gasparich et al., 1997) and a Brazilian origin is more likely.

C. capitata has been known in Brazil since 1901 or 1905 (Enkerlin et al., 1989) and Argentina since 1934 (De Longo et al., 2000). It also appears to have originated in West Africa. A population with a similar mtDNA haplotype to that found in Brazil and Hawaii occurs in Venezuela (Gasparich et al., 1997). The populations found in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru have mtDNA haplotypes largely similar to that of the Australian population (Gasparich et al., 1997). A population present in Chile from 1963 was eradicated in 1995 (Diaz et al., 1999). In Central America, the mtDNA haplotype differs again (Gasparich et al., 1997), being similar to that dominant in Europe, Egypt and the Middle East. It was first detected in Costa Rica in 1955, Nicaragua in 1960, Panama in 1963, El Salvador in 1975, Guatemala in 1976 and Mexico in 1977, where suppression has deterred further spread (Enkerlin et al., 1989).

Incursions into North America have been documented by Gasparich et al. (1997), who noted intermittent infestations in Florida, Texas and California from 1929, 1966 and 1975, respectively. In Florida, mtDNA haplotypes suggest multiple origins; those of 1962-1963 resembled the unusual North African or Liberian populations, whereas subsequent outbreaks or detections resembled those from either Venezuela (1984, 1994) or Colombia (1990). In California, mtDNA haplotypes of outbreaks in Los Angeles between 1975 and 1996 resembled those from Central America. Whereas some from 1993 and 1998 resembled those from Hawaii, and those from the 1992 outbreak in San Francisco resembled those from Colombia (Gasparich et al., 1997; Davies et al., 1999; Meixner et al., 2002). An established population, possibly of Guatemalan origin, may exist in the Los Angeles basin (Bonizzoni et al., 2001).

Localized outbreaks in Bermuda and New Zealand were eradicated (Hilburn and Dow, 1990; Holder et al., 1997).

Risk of Introduction

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The major risk is from the import of fruit containing larvae, either as part of cargo, or through the smuggling of fruit in airline passenger baggage or mail. For example, in New Zealand, Baker and Cowley (1991) recorded 7-33 interceptions of fruit flies per year in cargo and 10-28 per year in passenger baggage. Private individuals who successfully smuggle fruit are likely to discard it when they discover that it is rotten. This method of introduction has been suggested to account for the discovery of at least one fly in a trap in California every year (Foote et al., 1993), although this notion has been strongly criticized by others that suggest the presence of a barely detectable, establish population (Papadopoulos et al., 2013).

C. capitata is an EPPO A2 quarantine pest (OEPP/EPPO, 1981), and is also of quarantine significance throughout the world (CPPC, NAPPO, APPPC), especially for Japan and the USA. Its presence in Hawaii, but not in mainland USA, has contributed to its high international profile as a quarantine pest. It has reached all tropical and warm temperate land masses with the exception of Asia. Its presence, even as temporary adventive populations, can lead to severe additional constraints for export of fruits to uninfested areas in other continents. In this respect, C. capitata is one of the most significant quarantine pests for tropical or warm temperate areas in regions where it is not yet established. Worner (1988) used a climate-matching system, CLIMEX, to evaluate areas of potential establishment of C. capitata in New Zealand. The suitability of regions in Australia, Europe and South America has also been identified using CLIMEX (Vera et al., 2002) and correlative bioclimatic methods (De Meyer et al., 2007).

Consignments of fruits from countries where C. capitata occurs should be inspected for symptoms of infestation and those suspected should be cut open in order to look for larvae.

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial-managed
Cultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Principal habitat Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
Natural forests Principal habitat Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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C. capitata is a highly polyphagous species and its pattern of host relationships from region to region appears to relate largely to what fruits are available; examples were given by White and Elson-Harris (1994). Coffea spp. are especially heavily attacked, although the attack on coffee does not impact on this crop as only the fleshy part of the fruit, which is discarded, is utilised by the larvae. However, the quality may be affected and in many areas coffee crops appear to act as an important reservoir from which other crops may be attacked. In some areas wild hosts are of importance, for example, box thorn, Lycium europaeum, is an important overwintering host in North Africa (Cayol, 1996). Several wild hosts in Zimbabwe were recorded by Hancock (1987) and Copeland et al. (2002) recorded 51 wild host species in Kenya. Lists of wild and cultivated hosts were provided by Liquido et al. (1991), Hancock et al. (2000) and De Meyer et al. (2002).

In addition to the hosts listed, C. capitata has also been found on Artabotrys monteiroae, Berberis holstii, Bourreria petiolaris, Carissa longiflora, Carissa tetramera, Chrysophyllum carpussum, Coccinia microphylla, Corallocarpus ellipticus, Diospyros pubescens, Drypetes gerrardii, Elaeodendron schweinfurthianum, Grewia trichocarpa, Harrisonoia abyssinica, Lamprothamnus zanguebaricus, Ludia mauritiana, Lycium campanulatum, Manilkara sulcata, Mimusops kirkii, Minusops kummel, Mimusops zeheri, Peponium mackenii, Pentarhopalopilia umbellulata, Polysphaeria parvifolia, Richardella campechiana, Salacia elegans, Santalum freyinetianum, Vepris nobilis, V. simplicifolia and V. trichocarpa.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Acca sellowianaMyrtaceaeOther
Acokanthera oppositifoliaWild host
Acokanthera ouabaioApocynaceaeWild host
Actinidia deliciosa (kiwifruit)ActinidiaceaeOther
Anacardium occidentale (cashew nut)AnacardiaceaeOther
Annona cherimola (cherimoya)AnnonaceaeMain
Annona muricata (soursop)AnnonaceaeOther
Annona reticulata (bullock's heart)AnnonaceaeOther
Annona squamosa (sugar apple)AnnonaceaeOther
Antidesma dallachianaWild host
Antidesma venosumEuphorbiaceaeWild host
Arbutus unedo (arbutus)EricaceaeUnknown
Argania spinosa (argan tree)SapotaceaeWild host
Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit)MoraceaeOther
Averrhoa bilimbi (bilimbi)OxalidaceaeUnknown
Averrhoa carambola (carambola)OxalidaceaeUnknown
Azima tetracantha (beehanger)Wild host
Banksia prionotesProteaceaeUnknown
Brucea antidysentericaSimaroubaceaeWild host
Butia eriospathaArecaceaeOther
Calophyllum (beauty-leaf)ClusiaceaeOther
Calophyllum tacamahacaClusiaceaeWild host
Cananga odorata (perfume tree)AnnonaceaeUnknown
Capparis sepiaria (indian caper)CapparaceaeWild host
Capsicum annuum (bell pepper)SolanaceaeMain
Capsicum frutescens (chilli)SolanaceaeOther
Carica papaya (pawpaw)CaricaceaeOther
CarissaApocynaceaeOther
Carissa carandas (caranda (plum))ApocynaceaeWild host
Carissa edulis (egyptian carissa)ApocynaceaeOther
Carissa macrocarpa (natal plum)ApocynaceaeWild host
Carya illinoinensis (pecan)JuglandaceaeOther
Casimiroa edulis (white sapote)RutaceaeOther
Chrysobalanus icaco (icaco plum)ChrysobalanaceaeWild host
Chrysophyllum cainito (caimito)SapotaceaeOther
Chrysophyllum oliviformeSapotaceaeOther
Chrysophyllum viridifoliumWild host
Cinnamomum verum (cinnamon)LauraceaeWild host
CitrusRutaceaeMain
Citrus aurantiifolia (lime)RutaceaeOther
Citrus aurantium (sour orange)RutaceaeOther
Citrus limetta (sweet lemon tree)RutaceaeOther
Citrus limon (lemon)RutaceaeOther
Citrus limonia (mandarin lime)RutaceaeOther
Citrus maxima (pummelo)RutaceaeOther
Citrus medica (citron)RutaceaeOther
Citrus nobilis (tangor)RutaceaeOther
Citrus reticulata (mandarin)RutaceaeOther
Citrus reticulata x paradisi (tangelo)RutaceaeOther
Citrus sinensis (navel orange)RutaceaeOther
Citrus x paradisi (grapefruit)RutaceaeOther
Clausena anisata (horsewood)RutaceaeWild host
Coccoloba uvifera (seaside grape)PolygonaceaeWild host
Coffea (coffee)RubiaceaeMain
Coffea arabica (arabica coffee)RubiaceaeOther
Coffea canephora (robusta coffee)RubiaceaeUnknown
Coffea liberica (Liberian coffee tree)RubiaceaeOther
Cola natalensisSterculiaceaeWild host
Crateva tapiaCapparaceaeOther
Cucumis (melons, cucuimbers, gerkins)CucurbitaceaeOther
Cucumis dipsaceus (hedgehog gourd)Wild host
Cydonia oblonga (quince)RosaceaeMain
CyphomandraSolanaceaeOther
Cyphomandra betacea (tree tomato)SolanaceaeOther
Dimocarpus longan (longan tree)SapindaceaeOther
Diospyros (malabar ebony)EbenaceaeOther
Diospyros abyssinicaEbenaceaeWild host
Diospyros kaki (persimmon)EbenaceaeOther
Diospyros mespiliformis (ebony diospiros)EbenaceaeWild host
Diospyros pallensEbenaceaeWild host
Diospyros virginiana (persimmon (common))EbenaceaeOther
Dovyalis caffra (kei apple)FlacourtiaceaeOther
Dovyalis hebecarpa (ketembilla)FlacourtiaceaeWild host
Drypetes natalensisEuphorbiaceaeWild host
Durio zibethinus (durian)BombacaceaeOther
Ehretia cymosaBoraginaceaeWild host
Ekebergia capensisMeliaceaeWild host
Englerophytum magalismontanumSapotaceaeWild host
Eriobotrya japonica (loquat)RosaceaeOther
Euclea divinorumEbenaceaeWild host
EugeniaMyrtaceaeOther
Eugenia brasiliensis (brazil cherry)MyrtaceaeOther
Eugenia paniculataMyrtaceaeWild host
Eugenia uniflora (Surinam cherry)MyrtaceaeOther
Feijoa sellowiana (Horn of plenty)MyrtaceaeOther
Ficus carica (fig)MoraceaeMain
Filicium decipiensSapindaceaeWild host
Flacourtia indica (governor's plum)FlacourtiaceaeWild host
Flagellaria guineensisWild host
Flueggea virosaWild host
Fortunella (kumquats)RutaceaeOther
Fortunella japonica (round kumquat)RutaceaeOther
Garcinia brasiliensisClusiaceaeOther
Garcinia ellipticaClusiaceaeOther
Garcinia livingstonei (african mangosteen)ClusiaceaeWild host
Garcinia mangostana (mangosteen)ClusiaceaeOther
Guettarda speciosaRubiaceaeWild host
Harpephyllum caffrumAnacardiaceaeWild host
Hylocereus undatus (dragon fruit)CactaceaeOther
Juglans regia (walnut)JuglandaceaeOther
Litchi chinensis (lichi)SapindaceaeOther
Lycium (boxthorn)SolanaceaeWild host
Lycium barbarum (Matrimonyvine)SolanaceaeOther
Lycium europaeum (european boxthorn)SolanaceaeWild host
Malpighia glabra (acerola)MalpighiaceaeOther
Malus domestica (apple)RosaceaeMain
Malus floribundaRosaceaeOther
Mangifera indica (mango)AnacardiaceaeOther
Manilkara butugiSapotaceaeWild host
Manilkara sansibarensisSapotaceaeWild host
Manilkara zapota (sapodilla)SapotaceaeOther
Mespilus germanica (medlar)RosaceaeOther
Mimusops bagshaweiSapotaceaeWild host
Mimusops caffraSapotaceaeWild host
Mimusops elengi (spanish cherry)SapotaceaeWild host
Mimusops fruticosaWild host
Mimusops obtusifoliaSapotaceaeWild host
MonsteraAraceaeOther
Morus nigra (black mulberry)MoraceaeOther
Muntingia calabura (Jamaica cherry)TiliaceaeOther
Murraya paniculata (orange jessamine)RutaceaeUnknown
Musa x paradisiaca (plantain)MusaceaeUnknown
Myrianthus arboreusCecropiaceaeWild host
Nephelium lappaceum (rambutan)SapindaceaeOther
Olea europaea subsp. europaea (European olive)OleaceaeOther
Olea woodianaWild host
Opilia amentaceaWild host
Opuntia (Pricklypear)CactaceaeOther
Opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear)CactaceaeOther
Passiflora coerulea (blue-crown passionflower)PassifloraceaeOther
Passiflora edulis (passionfruit)PassifloraceaeOther
Passiflora suberosa (corkystem passionflower)PassifloraceaeUnknown
Pereskia aculeata (Lemon-vine)CactaceaeUnknown
Persea americana (avocado)LauraceaeOther
Phoenix dactylifera (date-palm)ArecaceaeOther
Physalis peruviana (Cape gooseberry)SolanaceaeOther
Pithecollobium dulceWild host
Podocarpus elongatus (african yellow wood)PodocarpaceaeWild host
Pouteria caimitoSapotaceaeOther
Pouteria sapota (mammey sapote)SapotaceaeOther
Pouteria viridis (green sapote)SapotaceaeOther
Prunus (stone fruit)RosaceaeMain
Prunus armeniaca (apricot)RosaceaeOther
Prunus avium (sweet cherry)RosaceaeOther
Prunus domestica (plum)RosaceaeOther
Prunus persica (peach)RosaceaeOther
Prunus salicina (Japanese plum)RosaceaeMain
Psidium cattleianum (strawberry guava)MyrtaceaeUnknown
Psidium friedrichsthalianum (wild guava)MyrtaceaeUnknown
Psidium guajava (guava)MyrtaceaeMain
Punica granatum (pomegranate)PunicaceaeOther
Pyrus communis (European pear)RosaceaeOther
Pyrus pyrifolia (Oriental pear tree)RosaceaeOther
Pyrus syriacaRosaceaeOther
Rubus idaeus (raspberry)RosaceaeOther
Rubus loganobaccus (loganberry)RosaceaeOther
Sandoricum koetjape (santol)MeliaceaeUnknown
Santalum album (Indian sandalwood)SantalaceaeOther
Scaevola plumieriGoodeniaceaeWild host
Scaevola taccada (beach naupaka)GoodeniaceaeWild host
Sideroxylon inermeSapotaceaeWild host
Solanum incanum (grey bitter-apple)SolanaceaeOther
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)SolanaceaeOther
Solanum macrocarpon (local garden egg)SolanaceaeWild host
Solanum mauritianum (tobacco tree)SolanaceaeWild host
Solanum melongena (aubergine)SolanaceaeOther
Solanum muricatum (melon pear)SolanaceaeUnknown
Solanum nigrum (black nightshade)SolanaceaeOther
Solanum pseudocapsicum (Jerusalem-cherry)SolanaceaeWild host
Solanum seaforthianum (Brazilian nightshade)SolanaceaeWild host
Sorocea bonplandiiMoraceaeOther
Spondias dulcis (otaheite apple)AnacardiaceaeOther
Spondias purpurea (red mombin)AnacardiaceaeOther
Spondias tuberosaAnacardiaceaeOther
Strychnos decussataLoganiaceaeWild host
Strychnos henningsiiLoganiaceaeWild host
Strychnos potatorumLoganiaceaeWild host
Strychnos pungensWild host
Synsepalum dulcificumSapotaceaeWild host
Syzygium cumini (black plum)MyrtaceaeOther
Syzygium jambos (rose apple)MyrtaceaeOther
Syzygium malaccense (Malay apple)MyrtaceaeOther
Syzygium samarangense (water apple)MyrtaceaeOther
Terminalia catappa (Singapore almond)CombretaceaeOther
Theobroma cacao (cocoa)SterculiaceaeMain
Thevetia peruviana (exile tree)ApocynaceaeOther
Vaccinium corymbosum (blueberry)EricaceaeOther
Vangueria infaustaRubiaceaeWild host
Vepris lanceolataRutaceaeWild host
Vitis vinifera (grapevine)VitaceaeOther
Ximenia americana (Hog plum)OlacaceaeUnknown
Ziziphus joazeiroRhamnaceaeOther
Ziziphus jujuba (common jujube)RhamnaceaeOther
Ziziphus mauritiana (jujube)RhamnaceaeOther

Growth Stages

Top of page Fruiting stage, Post-harvest

Symptoms

Top of page Attacked fruit usually shows signs of oviposition punctures and there is laboratory evidence of fungal transmission (Cayol et al., 1994). Very sweet fruits may produce a sugary exudate.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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Fruit

  • internal feeding

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

Allozyme and mitochondrial DNA studies have shown that Mediterranean and American populations of C. capitata are considerably less variable than those from sub-Saharan Africa (Baruffi et al., 1995; Gasparich et al., 1997), supporting a sub-Saharan origin for the species. Multilocus enzyme electrophoresis data were examined from several populations by Malacrida et al. (1998), microsatellite polymorhism was examined by Bonizzoni et al. (2000) and the complete mitochondrial genome of C. capitata was determined by Spanos et al. (2000). The genome size of C. capitata was estimated using quantitative real-time PCR at 591 Mb (CI range: 577–605 Mb) (Tsoumani and Mathiopoulos, 2012). The transcriptome of sexual maturation and mating (Gomulski et al., 2012) and peptides produced by testes and accessory glands (Scolari et al., 2012) in C. capitata has been profiled. A gynandromorph, with a male head and female abdomen, was reported by Hancock (1980).

Physiology

The males of C. capitata are strongly attracted to trimedlure/capilure and terpinyl acetate (Cunningham, 1989b). The chemical components of the pheromone produced by the males were summarized by Jones (1989), one of which, 3,4-dihydro-2H-pyrrole, may be involved in the attraction of virgin females.

Environmental Requirements

In undisturbed areas, C. capitata primarily occurs in woodland but it has successfully adapted to cultivated and urban areas. Its wide host range suggests an ability to utilize almost any type of fleshy fruit for larval development.

C. capitata lives in Mediterranean climates, which tends to coincide with where Citrus is grown). Although it is able to tolerate low temperatures, its northward expansion in Europe appears to have been prevented by the cold winters. The lower developmental temperature for larvae is 10.2°C (Duyck & Quilici, 2002). Adult activity is reduced or suspended at higher temperatures around 30°C, when the flies seek out cooler areas (Cayol, 1996). In the absence of behavioural thermoregulation, the lower and upper temperatures that permit coordinated movement of adults are within the range of 5.4–6.6°C and 42.4–43.0°C, respectively, but these values vary according to age, feeding status (Nyamukondiwa and Terblanche, 2009) and short- and longer-term thermal history (Nyamukondiwa and Terblanche, 2010; Weldon et al., 2011; Nyamukondiwa et al., 2013).

Reproductive Biology

The eggs of C. capitata are laid below the skin of the host fruit. They hatch within 2-4 days (up to 16-18 days in cool weather) and the larvae feed for another 6-11 days (at 13-28°C). Pupariation is in the soil under the host plant, the adults emerge after 6-11 days (24-26°C; longer in cool conditions) (Christenson and Foote, 1960), and after adult emergence, ovarian development at 25°C takes 5 days (Duyck and Quilici, 2002). The thermal constant for development from egg to adult is 260°D (Duyck and Quilici, 2002). Christenson and Foote (1960) report that adult C. capitata live for up to 2 months (field-caged), but this may well be an underestimate of their lifespan because wild-caught-adults brought into the laboratory had a lifespan longer than reference adults that had never been in the field (Carey et al., 2008).

Sexual compatibility between populations from different areas worldwide was demonstrated by Cayol et al. (2002). A detailed summary of larval and adult behaviour, including courtship, was provided by Yuval and Hendrichs (2000). Mating success of C. capitata males can be improved by exposing them to the odour of orange (Shelly et al., 2006) or ginger root oil (Shelly et al., 2002). Male C. capitata with access to a high-protein diet may also exhibit higher sexual performance, but this effect may vary according to fly genotype, experimental setting or environmental conditions (Yuval et al., 2007).

Associations

C. capitata appears to be outcompeted by other species in some areas where it has been introduced. In Hawaii, it has been displaced from lower altitudes by the Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Harris, 1989). Similarly, it is believed that C. capitata has been displaced in the eastern States of Australia by Bactrocera tryoni (Orian and Moutia, 1960; Permkam and Hancock, 1995). In Mauritius, it was largely displaced by the Natal fruit fly, Ceratitis rosa, following the introduction of the latter species around 1953 (Orian and Moutia, 1960). The same appears to be true in urban centres in Zimbabwe, where C. rosa is the dominant species. However, in newly planted coffee crops in Hawaii, C. capitata was dominant over B. dorsalis (Vargas et al., 1995). There is evidence from Réunion of climatic niche partitioning of C. capitata and C. rosa, with C. capitata occupying areas with higher mean temperatures and lower rainfall (Duyck et al., 2006).

C. capitata, in common with many other ceratitidines, appears to mimic salticid spiders (Hasson, 1995); this might offer protection from both the spiders and other predators.

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Tolerated Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Preferred < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
BS - Steppe climate Preferred > 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climate Tolerated < 430mm annual precipitation
Cf - Warm temperate climate, wet all year Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, wet all year
Cs - Warm temperate climate with dry summer Preferred Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry summers
Cw - Warm temperate climate with dry winter Preferred Warm temperate climate with dry winter (Warm average temp. > 10°C, Cold average temp. > 0°C, dry winters)

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Aceratoneuromyia indica Parasite Larvae Argentina; Australia; Bolivia; Central America; Hawaii; Israel; Italy fruits; vegetables
Aganaspis pelleranoi Parasite Larvae
Anthocoris nemoralis Predator
Aphaereta ceratitivora Parasite Larvae/Pupae Achterberg et al., 2012
Bacillus pumilus Pathogen Larvae
Bacillus thuringiensis Pathogen
Bacillus thuringiensis thuringiensis Pathogen
Beauveria bassiana Pathogen Adults/Pupae Beris et al., 2013
Belonuchus rufipennis Predator Italy fruits
Biosteres arisanus Parasite Australia; Central America; Costa Rica; Israel; Italy; Peru; USA; Hawaii fruits; loquats; peaches
Biosteres fullawayi Parasite Larvae Hawaii fruits
Biosteres kraussii Parasite Hawaii vegetables
Biosteres longicaudatus Parasite Pupae Argentina; Australia; Bolivia; Central America; Costa Rica; Israel; Peru; USA; Hawaii fruits; loquats; peaches
Biosteres tyroni Parasite Larvae Brazil fruits
Biosteres vandenboschi Parasite Central America; Israel fruits
Cardiastethus nazarenus Predator
Cheiracanthium mildei Predator
Coptera occidentalis Parasite Pupae
Coptera silvestrii Parasite Pupae
Coryctobracon areolatus Parasite
Cyrtorhinus lividipennis Predator
Diachasmimorpha tryoni Parasite Larvae Central America; Egypt; Hawaii; Israel; USA; Hawaii Citrus; fruits; loquats; peaches
Dirhinus anthracina Parasite Pupae
Dirhinus giffardii Parasite Greece; Hawaii; Israel; Italy; Peru fruits
Doryctobracon areolatus Parasite Larvae
Doryctobracon crawfordi Parasite Larvae Hawaii fruits
Entomophthora muscae Pathogen Uziel et al., 2003
Entomophthora schizophorae Pathogen Uziel et al., 2003
Eupelmus urozonus Parasite
Fopius arisanus Parasite Eggs/Larvae
Fopius caudatus Parasite Hawaii fruits
Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Parasite Adults/Larvae Malan and Manrakhan, 2009
Linepithema humile Predator
Megaselia scalaris Parasite
Metarhizium anisopliae Pathogen Adults/Pupae Beris et al., 2013; Quesada-Moraga et al., 2006
Muscidifurax raptor Parasite
Nucleopolyhedrosis virus Pathogen
Odontosema anastrephae Parasite
Opius bellus Parasite Hawaii fruits
Opius concolor Parasite Larvae Bermuda; Bolivia fruits
Opius fletcheri Parasite Brazil fruits
Opius humilis Parasite Egypt; Hawaii fruits
Opius incisi Parasite Hawaii; Israel fruits
Opius perproximus Parasite Hawaii fruits
Opius tephritivorus Parasite Larvae
Pachycrepoideus vindemmiae Parasite Pupae Bolivia; Central America fruits
Pseudocoilia braziliensis Australia fruits
Psilus silvestrii Parasite Hawaii; Italy fruits
Psyttalia concolor Parasite Larvae
Psyttalia humilis Parasite Larvae
Psyttalia incisi Parasite Larvae
Solenopsis geminata Predator Pupae
Steinernema carpocapsae Parasite Pupae
Steinernema feltiae Parasite
Tetrastichus giffardianus Parasite Larvae Australia; Brazil; Central America; Egypt; Hawaii; Peru; Spain fruits
Tetrastichus giffardii Parasite Larvae Italy fruits
Thyreocephalus albertisi Predator Hawaii fruits
Trybliographa daci Parasite
Utetes anastrephae Parasite
Vespula germanica Predator Adults

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Clausen (1978) reviewed numerous parasitoid and predator releases against C. capitata, very few of which resulted in establishment. Most notable were the use of Biosteres and Opius spp. in Hawaii which achieved an average 25-55% parasitism between 1914 and 1933. However, the actual levels varied between hosts, for example in coffee where the skin is thin and the larvae always near the surface, 61-94% was achieved but in other fruits much lower levels were found. Other examples of biocontrol releases include the use of the chalcid Dirhinus anthracina in Réunion (Etienne, 1973), the diapriid Coptera occidentalis in Slovakia (Kazimirova, 1996), the braconid Biosteres longicaudatus in Réunion (Etienne, 1971) and Bolivia (Bennett and Squire, 1972), and the eulophid Aceratoneuromyia indica in Costa Rica (Jiron and Mexzon, 1989). Four braconid species that parasitize C. capitata were released into Israel between 2002 and 2004, of which Fopius ceratitivorus and Diachasmimorpha krausii have shown signs of long-term establishment (Argov and Gazit, 2008).

It has been noted that the yellow-jacket wasp, Vespula germanica, use the odour of male-produced mating pheromone to locate and prey on adult C. capitata (Hendrichs et al., 1994)

A range of bacteria, fungi and nematodes have been screened in the laboratory for their pathogenic effects on the life stages of C. capitata.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

The majority of mark-release-recapture studies on dispersal of C. capitata obtain recaptures no more than 1 km from the release site, although these results may represent limitations of the trapping array. There is evidence that C. capitata can fly at least 20 km (Fletcher, 1989).

Movement in Trade

The transport of infested fruits is the major means of movement and dispersal to previously uninfested areas. Some host fruits are only infested when ripe, and this has been the basis for an 'infestation-free quarantine procedure' for avocados exported from Hawaii to mainland USA. This was recently called into question when fruits still on the tree were found to be infested (Liquido et al., 1995).
 

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Clothing, footwear and possessionsFruit in case or handbag. Yes
Containers and packaging - woodOf fruit cargo. Yes
Land vehiclesAeroplanes and boats, with fruit cargo. Yes
MailFruit in post. Yes
Soil, sand and gravelRisk of puparia in soil. Yes

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Fruits (inc. pods) eggs; larvae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Growing medium accompanying plants pupae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Bark
Bulbs/Tubers/Corms/Rhizomes
Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx
Leaves
Roots
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches
True seeds (inc. grain)
Wood

Wood Packaging

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Wood Packaging liable to carry the pest in trade/transportTimber typeUsed as packing
Loose wood packing material Packing for fruit cargo Yes
Non-wood Packing for fruit cargo Yes
Processed or treated wood Packing for fruit cargo Yes
Solid wood packing material with bark Packing for fruit cargo Yes
Solid wood packing material without bark Packing for fruit cargo Yes

Impact

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C. capitata is an important pest in Africa and has spread to almost every other continent to become the single most important pest species in its family. It is highly polyphagous and causes damage to a very wide range of unrelated fruit crops. In Mediterranean countries, it is particularly damaging to citrus and peach. It may also transmit fruit-rotting fungi (Cayol et al., 1994).

Damage to fruit crops is frequently high and may reach 100% (Fimiani, 1989; Fischer-Colbrie and Busch-Petersen, 1989). In Central America, losses to coffee crops were estimated at 5-15% and the berries matured earlier and fell to the ground with reduced quality (Enkerlin et al., 1989). As in areas where the fly is endemic, in outbreak conditions the economic impacts include reduced production, increased control costs and lost markets.

Environmental Impact

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No impact of C. capitata on the natural environment or on other species has been observed, although the decline in populations of Ceratitis catoirii on Mauritius and Réunion may be due in part to competition from C. capitata (Duyck et al., 2006).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Ceratitis catoiriiNo details No detailsMauritius; RéunionCompetition

Social Impact

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The social impact on fruit growers and their families caused by the presence or introduction of C. capitata is severe, mostly through reduced or lost income and increased costs of control. As a recognized and serious quarantine pest, loss of markets to producers in outbreak areas is also often severe.

Risk and Impact Factors

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Impact mechanisms

  • Herbivory/grazing/browsing
  • Rapid growth

Impact outcomes

  • Conflict
  • Damages animal/plant products
  • Host damage
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts livelihoods
  • Negatively impacts trade/international relations
  • Threat to/ loss of native species

Invasiveness

  • Abundant in its native range
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Capable of securing and ingesting a wide range of food
  • Fast growing
  • Gregarious
  • Has a broad native range
  • Has high genetic variability
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Proved invasive outside its native range

Likelihood of entry/control

  • Difficult/costly to control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally

Uses List

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General

  • Research model

Diagnosis

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EPPO (2011) have published a diagnostic protocol for C. capitata including detection on fruits, detection of adults, and morphological and molecular biological identification.

Detection and Inspection

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C. capitata can be monitored by traps baited with male lures. As in other tested species belonging to the subgenus Ceratitis, males are attracted to trimedlure and terpinyl acetate, but not methyl eugenol. Ceralure is a new potent and persistent attractant for C. capitata (Avery et al., 1994). The responses to baits of 16 Ceratitis species were tabulated by Hancock (1987). Trimedlure (t-butyl-4(or 5)-chloro-2-methyl cyclohexane carboxylate) is the most widely used lure for C. capitata. The history of trimedlure development and the problems of isolating the best of the eight possible isomers were discussed by Cunningham (1989a). The lure is usually placed on a cottonwool wick suspended in the middle of a plastic trap that has small openings at both ends. Suitable traps were described by White and Elson-Harris (1994). Lure can either be mixed with an insecticide or a piece of paper dipped in dichlorvos can be placed in the trap. Traps are usually placed in fruit trees at a height of about 2 m above ground and should be emptied regularly as it is possible to catch hundreds of flies in a single trap left for just a few days, although the lure may remain effective for a few weeks. A detailed study of trap position effects was carried out by Israely et al. (1997). A review of the biological aspects of male lures was presented by Cunningham (1989a) and the use of lures was described more fully by Drew (1982). A trapping system used to monitor for possible introductions of C. capitata into New Zealand has been described by Somerfield (1989). The possibility of the development of pheromone-based trapping systems was discussed by Landolt and Heath (1996). Trapping efficiency may also be enhanced by the use of fluorescent colours, particularly light green (Epsky et al., 1996).

Prevention and Control

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Regulatory Control

Many countries, such as the mainland USA, forbid the import of susceptible fruit without strict postharvest treatment having been applied by the exporter. This may involve fumigation, heat treatment (hot vapour or hot water), cold treatments, insecticidal dipping, or irradiation (Armstrong and Couey, 1989). For example, EPPO recommends (OEPP/EPPO, 1990) that fruits of Citrus or Prunus should have been treated by an appropriate method, for example, in transit by cold treatment (e.g. 10, 11, 12, 14, 15 days at 0.0, 0.6, 1.1, 1.7 or 2.2°C, respectively) or, for certain types of fruits, by vapour heat (e.g. 44°C for 8 h) (USDA, 1994), forced hot-air (Armstrong et al., 1995) or hot-water treatment (Sharp and Picho-Martinez, 1989). Irradiation is not accepted in most countries and many have now banned methyl bromide fumigation. Heat treatment tends to reduce the shelf life of most fruits and so the most effective method of regulatory control is to preferentially restrict imports of a given fruit to areas free of fruit fly attack.

Cultural Control and Sanitary Methods

One of the most effective control techniques against fruit flies in general is to wrap fruit, either in newspaper, a paper bag, or in the case of long/thin fruits, a polythene sleeve. This is a simple physical barrier to oviposition but it has to be applied before the stage at which the fruit is attacked. When detected, it is important to gather all fallen and infected host fruits, and destroy them.

Chemical Control

Although cover sprays of entire crops are sometimes used, the use of bait sprays is both more economical and more environmentally acceptable (Stancic, 1986; Roessler and Chen, 1994). A bait spray consists of a suitable insecticide (e.g. malathion) mixed with a protein bait. Both males and females of fruit flies are attracted to protein sources emanating ammonia and so insecticides can be applied to just a few spots in an orchard and the flies will be attracted to these spots. The protein most widely used is hydrolysed protein, but some supplies of this are acid hydrolysed and so highly phytotoxic. Smith and Nannan (1988) have developed a system using autolysed protein; in Malaysia this has been developed into a very effective commercial product derived from brewery waste (developed for Bactrocera spp.).

Sterile Insect Technique

The sterile insect technique (SIT) requires the release of millions of sterile flies into the wild population so that there is a strong likelihood of wild females mating with sterile males (Gilmore, 1989). SIT has been used against C. capitata in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Italy, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Palestine, Peru, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Tunisia and the USA (California and Hawaii) (Klassen and Curtis, 2005). The largest of these programmes (Programa Moscamed) is being carried out in southern Mexico and is designed to stop the fly spreading north, and ultimately to eradicate it from Central America (Schwarz et al., 1989). SIT depends on the ability to mass-rear millions of sterile flies and Vargas (1989) reviewed the required procedures.

Chemosterilisation of wild females and males with lufenuron, an insect growth regulator, shows promise for the suppression of C. capitata. Females fed lufenuron or that have mated with lufenuron-fed males can reduce or prevent egg hatching (Casaña-Giner et al., 1999). Field trials in which lufenuron was mixed with food-based attractants have demonstrated the effectiveness of this technique (Navarro-Llopis et al., 2004; 2007; 2010).

Pheromone Trapping

Male annihilation utilizes the attraction of males to chemical lures (see Detection Methods) and this technique has been applied in Hawaii where it did have some impact on population size (Cunningham, 1989b). Mass trapping of females and males using densely-spaced baited traps is being used extensively in the Mediterranean region (Navarro-Llopis et al., 2008).

Biological Control

Biological control has been tried against C. capitata, but introduced parasitoids have had little impact (Wharton, 1989). C. capitata is susceptible to a range of entomopathogenic fungi and nematodes (see Natural Enemies), usually with larval and adult mortality being higher than that of pupae. Commercial formulations applications that include these pathogens or parasites are being developed and may prove useful in control of C. capitata.

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07/05/14 Updated by:

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