Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Ceratitis capitata
(Mediterranean fruit fly)

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Datasheet

Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 10 December 2020
  • 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 high economic impact, affect...

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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.

Last updated: 09 Aug 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AlgeriaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
AngolaPresent, LocalizedNative
BeninPresentNative
BotswanaPresentNative
Burkina FasoPresentNative
BurundiPresent, LocalizedNative
Cabo VerdePresentIntroducedInvasive
CameroonPresentNative
ComorosPresentIntroducedInvasive
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresent, WidespreadNative
Congo, Republic of thePresent, LocalizedNative
Côte d'IvoirePresentNative
EgyptPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
EritreaPresent
EswatiniPresent
EthiopiaPresentNative
GabonPresentNative
GhanaPresentNative
GuineaPresent, LocalizedNative
KenyaPresent, WidespreadNative
LiberiaPresentNative
LibyaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
MadagascarPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
MalawiPresentNative
MaliPresentNative
MauritiusPresentIntroducedInvasive
MoroccoPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
MozambiquePresent, LocalizedNative
NamibiaPresent, WidespreadNative
NigerPresentNative
NigeriaPresent, LocalizedNative
RéunionPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
Saint HelenaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
São Tomé and PríncipePresentIntroducedInvasive
SenegalPresentNative
SeychellesPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
Sierra LeoneAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)
South AfricaPresent, WidespreadNative
SudanPresent, WidespreadNative
TanzaniaPresent, WidespreadNative
TogoPresentNative
TunisiaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
UgandaPresentNative
ZambiaPresent, LocalizedNative
ZimbabwePresent, WidespreadNative

Asia

AfghanistanAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)
ChinaAbsent, Invalid presence record(s)
-HubeiAbsent, Invalid presence record(s)
IndiaAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)
-BiharAbsent, Formerly present1907
IranPresent, LocalizedIntroduced1977Invasive
IraqPresent, Localized
IsraelPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
JordanPresentIntroducedInvasive
LebanonPresentIntroducedInvasive
Palestine
-Gaza StripPresent
Saudi ArabiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
SingaporeAbsent
South KoreaAbsent, Intercepted only
SyriaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
TurkeyPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
YemenPresentIntroducedInvasive

Europe

AlbaniaPresentIntroducedInvasive
AustriaAbsent, Intercepted only
BelgiumAbsent, Formerly present
Bosnia and HerzegovinaPresent
BulgariaPresent, Few occurrences
CroatiaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
CyprusPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
CzechiaAbsent, Intercepted only
Federal Republic of YugoslaviaPresent
FrancePresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
-CorsicaPresentIntroducedInvasive
GermanyPresent, Transient under eradication
GreecePresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
-CretePresentIntroducedInvasive
GuernseyPresent, Localized
HungaryAbsent, Formerly present1991
ItalyPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
-SardiniaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-SicilyPresentIntroducedInvasive
LithuaniaAbsent, Intercepted only
LuxembourgAbsent, Formerly present
MaltaPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
MontenegroPresent
NetherlandsAbsent, Formerly present
NorwayAbsent, Intercepted only
PolandAbsent, Formerly present
PortugalPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
-AzoresPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MadeiraPresentIntroducedInvasive
RomaniaPresent, Localized
RussiaPresent, Few occurrencesIntroducedInvasive
-Southern RussiaPresent, Few occurrencesIntroducedInvasive
SerbiaPresent, Localized
Serbia and MontenegroPresent
SlovakiaAbsent, Intercepted only
SloveniaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
SpainPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
-Balearic IslandsPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
-Canary IslandsPresentIntroducedInvasive
SwedenAbsent, Intercepted only
SwitzerlandPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
UkrainePresent, Transient under eradicationIntroduced1964Invasive
United KingdomAbsent, Formerly present1869

North America

BelizePresent, Transient under eradication1989
BermudaAbsent, Eradicated
Costa RicaPresent, WidespreadIntroduced1955Invasive
Dominican RepublicAbsent, Eradicated
El SalvadorPresent, LocalizedIntroduced1975Invasive
GuatemalaPresent, LocalizedIntroduced1975Invasive
HondurasPresent, LocalizedIntroduced1975Invasive
JamaicaAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)
MexicoAbsent, Eradicated
Netherlands AntillesAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)
NicaraguaPresentIntroduced1960Invasive
PanamaPresentIntroduced1963Invasive
Puerto RicoPresent, Transient under eradicationIntroducedInvasive
United StatesPresent, LocalizedIntroduced1910InvasiveEstablished only in Hawaii. Eradicated from mainland USA (NAPPO, 2013).
-CaliforniaAbsent, Eradicated
-FloridaAbsent, Eradicated
-HawaiiPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
-TexasAbsent, Eradicated1966

Oceania

AustraliaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasiveFirst reported: 189*
-New South WalesAbsent, Formerly present
-Northern TerritoryAbsent, Intercepted only
-QueenslandAbsent, Never occurred
-South AustraliaAbsent, Formerly present
-VictoriaAbsent, Never occurred
-Western AustraliaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
New ZealandAbsent, Eradicated
Northern Mariana IslandsAbsent, Invalid presence record(s)

South America

ArgentinaPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
BoliviaPresentIntroducedInvasive
BrazilPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
-AcrePresent
-AlagoasPresent
-AmapaPresent
-BahiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-CearaPresent
-Distrito FederalPresent
-Espirito SantoPresentIntroducedInvasive
-GoiasPresentIntroducedInvasive
-MaranhaoPresent
-Mato GrossoPresent
-Mato Grosso do SulPresent
-Minas GeraisPresentIntroducedInvasive
-ParaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-ParaibaPresent
-ParanaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-PernambucoPresent
-PiauiPresent
-Rio de JaneiroPresentIntroducedInvasive
-Rio Grande do NortePresent
-Rio Grande do SulPresentIntroducedInvasive
-RondoniaPresentIntroducedInvasive
-RoraimaPresentOriginal citation: Trassato et al. (2017)
-Santa CatarinaPresent
-Sao PauloPresentIntroducedInvasive
-TocantinsPresent
ChilePresent, Few occurrencesIntroduced1963Invasive
ColombiaPresentIntroducedInvasive
EcuadorPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasive
ParaguayPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
PeruPresentIntroducedInvasive
SurinameAbsent, Confirmed absent by survey
UruguayPresent, WidespreadIntroducedInvasive
VenezuelaPresentIntroducedInvasive

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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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Terrestrial ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial ManagedUrban / peri-urban areas Principal habitat Natural
Terrestrial Natural / Semi-naturalNatural 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). Reports in the literature of Hylocereus undatus as a host of C. capitata are not supported by field evidence (Zlotina, 2015).

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 nameFamilyContextReferences
Acca sellowianaMyrtaceaeOther
Acokanthera oppositifoliaWild host
Acokanthera ouabaioApocynaceaeWild host
Actinidia chinensis (Chinese gooseberry)ActinidiaceaeUnknown
Actinidia deliciosa (kiwifruit)ActinidiaceaeOther
Anacardium occidentale (cashew nut)AnacardiaceaeOther
Annona cherimola (cherimoya)AnnonaceaeMain
Annona coriaceaAnnonaceaeUnknown
Annona muricata (soursop)AnnonaceaeOther
Annona reticulata (bullock's heart)AnnonaceaeOther
Annona senegalensis (wild custard apple)AnnonaceaeUnknown
Annona squamosa (sugar apple)AnnonaceaeOther
Antidesma dallachianaWild host
Antidesma venosumEuphorbiaceaeWild host
Arbutus unedo (arbutus)EricaceaeUnknown
Arenga pinnata (sugar palm)ArecaceaeUnknown
Argania spinosa (argan tree)SapotaceaeWild host
Artabotrys monteiroaeUnknown
Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit)MoraceaeOther
AsparagusLiliaceaeUnknown
Averrhoa bilimbi (bilimbi)OxalidaceaeUnknown
Averrhoa carambola (carambola)OxalidaceaeUnknown
Azima tetracantha (beehanger)Wild host
Banksia prionotesProteaceaeUnknown
Bequaertiodendron magalismontanumSapotaceaeUnknown
Berchemia discolorRhamnaceaeUnknown
Blighia sapida (akee apple)SapindaceaeUnknown
Brucea antidysentericaSimaroubaceaeWild host
Butia eriospathaArecaceaeOther
Byrsonima crassifolia (wild cherry)MalpighiaceaeUnknown
Calophyllum (beauty-leaf)ClusiaceaeOther
Calophyllum inophyllum (Alexandrian laurel)ClusiaceaeUnknown
Calophyllum tacamahacaClusiaceaeWild host
Campomanesia sessilifloraUnknown
Cananga odorata (ylang-ylang)AnnonaceaeUnknown
Capparis marianaUnknown
Capparis sepiaria (indian caper)CapparaceaeWild host
Capparis spinosa (Caper bush)CapparaceaeUnknown
Capparis tomentosa (woolly caper bush)CapparaceaeUnknown
Capsicum (peppers)SolanaceaeUnknown
Capsicum annuum (bell pepper)SolanaceaeMain
Capsicum frutescens (chilli)SolanaceaeOther
Carica papaya (pawpaw)CaricaceaeOther
CarissaApocynaceaeOther
Carissa bispinosaUnknown
Carissa carandas (caranda (plum))ApocynaceaeWild host
Carissa edulis (egyptian carissa)ApocynaceaeOther
Carissa macrocarpa (Natal plum)ApocynaceaeWild host
Carissa spinarumApocynaceaeUnknown
Carissa tetrameraUnknown
Carya illinoinensis (pecan)JuglandaceaeOther
Casimiroa edulis (white sapote)RutaceaeOther
Cassine schweinfurthianaUnknown
Cestrum (jessamine)SolanaceaeUnknown
Chrysobalanus icaco (coco plum)ChrysobalanaceaeWild host
Chrysophyllum cainito (caimito)SapotaceaeOther
Chrysophyllum gonocarpumSapotaceaeUnknown
Chrysophyllum oliviformeSapotaceaeOther
Chrysophyllum viridifoliumWild host
Cinnamomum verum (cinnamon)LauraceaeWild host
Citharexylum myrianthumVerbenaceaeUnknown
Citrofortunella mitisRutaceaeUnknown
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 madurensis (calamondin)RutaceaeUnknown
Citrus maxima (pummelo)RutaceaeOther
Citrus medica (citron)RutaceaeOther
Citrus myrtifoliaUnknown
Citrus nobilis (tangor)RutaceaeOther
Citrus reshni (Cleopatra mandarin)RutaceaeUnknown
Citrus reticulata (mandarin)RutaceaeOther
Citrus reticulata x paradisi (tangelo)RutaceaeOther
Citrus sinensis (sweet orange)RutaceaeOther
Citrus unshiu (satsuma)RutaceaeUnknown
Citrus x paradisi (grapefruit)RutaceaeOther
Clausena anisata (horsewood)RutaceaeWild host
Clausena lansium (wampi)RutaceaeUnknown
Coccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd)CucurbitaceaeUnknown
Coccinia microphyllaUnknown
Coccoloba uvifera (sea grape)PolygonaceaeWild host
Coffea (coffee)RubiaceaeMain
Coffea arabica (arabica coffee)RubiaceaeOther
Coffea canephora (robusta coffee)RubiaceaeUnknown
Coffea liberica (Liberian coffee tree)RubiaceaeOther
Coffea racemosaUnknown
Cola natalensisSterculiaceaeWild host
Corallocarpus ellipticusCucurbitaceaeUnknown
Cordia sebestena (geiger tree)BoraginaceaeUnknown
Crataegus pubescensRosaceaeUnknown
Crateva tapiaCapparaceaeOther
Cucumis (melons, cucuimbers, gerkins)CucurbitaceaeOther
Cucumis dipsaceus (hedgehog gourd)Wild host
Cucumis melo (melon)CucurbitaceaeUnknown
Cydonia (quince)RosaceaeUnknown
Cydonia oblonga (quince)RosaceaeMain
CyphomandraSolanaceaeOther
Cyphomandra betacea (tree tomato)SolanaceaeOther
Dimocarpus longan (longan tree)SapindaceaeOther
Diospyros (malabar ebony)EbenaceaeOther
Diospyros abyssinicaEbenaceaeWild host
Diospyros decandraUnknown
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
EriobotryaRosaceaeUnknown
Eriobotrya japonica (loquat)RosaceaeOther
Euclea divinorumEbenaceaeWild host
EugeniaMyrtaceaeOther
Eugenia brasiliensis (brazil cherry)MyrtaceaeOther
Eugenia involucrataUnknown
Eugenia paniculataMyrtaceaeWild host
Eugenia pyriformisMyrtaceaeUnknown
Eugenia stipitataMyrtaceaeUnknown
Eugenia uniflora (Surinam cherry)MyrtaceaeOther
Feijoa sellowiana (Horn of plenty)MyrtaceaeOther
FicusMoraceaeUnknown
Ficus carica (common 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
Garcinia xanthochymusClusiaceaeUnknown
Gmelina arborea (candahar)LamiaceaeUnknown
Gossypium (cotton)MalvaceaeUnknown
Grewia trichocarpaUnknown
Guettarda speciosaRubiaceaeWild host
Hancornia speciosaUnknown
Harpephyllum caffrumAnacardiaceaeWild host
Harrisonia abyssinicaRutaceaeUnknown
Hexachlamys edulisMyrtaceaeUnknown
IngaFabaceaeUnknown
Inga laurina (Spanish oak)FabaceaeUnknown
Inga ruizianaUnknown
Inga sellowianaUnknown
Juglans australisJuglandaceaeUnknown
Juglans nigra (black walnut)JuglandaceaeUnknown
Juglans regia (walnut)JuglandaceaeOther
Lamprothamnus zanguebaricusUnknown
Latania loddigesiiArecaceaeUnknown
Licania tomentosaChrysobalanaceaeUnknown
Litchi chinensis (lichi)SapindaceaeOther
Ludia mauritianaSalicaceaeUnknown
Lycium (boxthorn)SolanaceaeWild host
Lycium barbarum (Matrimonyvine)SolanaceaeOther
Lycium europaeum (european boxthorn)SolanaceaeWild host
Lycium ferocissimum (African boxthorn)SolanaceaeUnknown
MalpighiaMalpighiaceaeUnknown
Malpighia emarginataMalpighiaceaeUnknown
Malpighia glabra (acerola)MalpighiaceaeOther
Malus (ornamental species apple)RosaceaeUnknown
Malus domestica (apple)RosaceaeMain
Malus floribundaRosaceaeOther
Malus sylvestris (crab-apple tree)RosaceaeUnknown
MangiferaAnacardiaceaeUnknown
Mangifera indica (mango)AnacardiaceaeOther
Manilkara butugiSapotaceaeWild host
Manilkara sansibarensisSapotaceaeWild host
Manilkara sulcataUnknown
Manilkara zapota (sapodilla)SapotaceaeOther
Mespilus germanica (medlar)RosaceaeOther
Miliusa braheiAnnonaceaeUnknown
MimusopsUnknown
Mimusops bagshaweiSapotaceaeWild host
Mimusops caffraSapotaceaeWild host
Mimusops elengi (spanish cherry)SapotaceaeWild host
Mimusops fruticosaWild host
Mimusops kummelSapotaceaeUnknown
Mimusops obtusifoliaSapotaceaeWild host
Mimusops zeyheriUnknown
Momordica charantia (bitter gourd)CucurbitaceaeUnknown
Monodora grandidieriAnnonaceaeUnknown
MonsteraAraceaeOther
Morus nigra (black mulberry)MoraceaeOther
Mosiera longipesMyrtaceaeUnknown
Mouriri ellipticaUnknown
Muntingia calabura (Jamaica cherry)TiliaceaeOther
Murraya paniculata (orange jessamine)RutaceaeUnknown
Musa x paradisiaca (plantain)MusaceaeUnknown
Myrcianthes pungensMyrtaceaeUnknown
Myrciaria cauliflora (jaboticaba)MyrtaceaeUnknown
Myrianthus arboreusCecropiaceaeWild host
Nephelium lappaceum (rambutan)SapindaceaeOther
Noronhia emarginata (Madagascar olive)OleaceaeUnknown
Ochrosia ellipticaApocynaceaeUnknown
Olea europaea subsp. cuspidata (wild olive)OleaceaeUnknown
Olea europaea subsp. europaea (European olive)OleaceaeOther
Olea woodianaWild host
Opilia amentaceaWild host
Opuntia (Pricklypear)CactaceaeOther
Opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear)CactaceaeOther
Oxyanthus zanguebaricusUnknown
Parinari curatellifoliaChrysobalanaceaeUnknown
Parinari macrophyllaChrysobalanaceaeUnknown
Parmentiera edulisBignoniaceaeUnknown
Passiflora alataUnknown
Passiflora caerulea (blue passionflower)PassifloraceaeUnknown
Passiflora coerulea (blue-crown passionflower)PassifloraceaeOther
Passiflora edulis (passionfruit)PassifloraceaeOther
Passiflora ligularis (sweet granadilla)PassifloraceaeUnknown
Passiflora suberosa (corkystem passionflower)PassifloraceaeUnknown
Pentarhopalopilia umbellulataUnknown
Pereskia aculeata (Lemon-vine)CactaceaeUnknown
Persea americana (avocado)LauraceaeOther
Phoenix dactylifera (date-palm)ArecaceaeOther
Phyllanthus acidus (star gooseberry)EuphorbiaceaeUnknown
Physalis peruviana (Cape gooseberry)SolanaceaeOther
Pithecollobium dulceWild host
Podocarpus elongatus (african yellow wood)PodocarpaceaeWild host
Polysphaeria parvifoliaUnknown
Pouteria caimitoSapotaceaeOther
Pouteria campechiana (canistel)SapotaceaeUnknown
Pouteria ramifloraSapotaceaeUnknown
Pouteria sapota (mammey sapote)SapotaceaeOther
Pouteria viridis (green sapote)SapotaceaeOther
Prunus (stone fruit)RosaceaeMain
Prunus africana (red stinkwood)RosaceaeUnknown
Prunus americana (American plum)RosaceaeUnknown
Prunus armeniaca (apricot)RosaceaeOther
Prunus avium (sweet cherry)RosaceaeOther
Prunus domestica (plum)RosaceaeOther
Prunus dulcis (almond)RosaceaeUnknown
Prunus ilicifolia (holly-leaved cherry)Unknown
Prunus mume (Japanese apricot tree)RosaceaeUnknown
Prunus persica (peach)RosaceaeOther
Prunus persica var. nucipersica (nectarine)RosaceaeUnknown
Prunus salicina (Japanese plum)RosaceaeMain
Prunus serotina (black cherry)RosaceaeUnknown
Psidium (guava)MyrtaceaeUnknown
Psidium acutangulumMyrtaceaeUnknown
Psidium cattleianum (strawberry guava)MyrtaceaeUnknown
Psidium friedrichsthalianum (wild guava)MyrtaceaeUnknown
Psidium guajava (guava)MyrtaceaeMain
Punica granatum (pomegranate)PunicaceaeOther
Pyrus (pears)RosaceaeUnknown
Pyrus communis (European pear)RosaceaeOther
Pyrus pyrifolia (Oriental pear tree)RosaceaeOther
Pyrus syriacaRosaceaeOther
Rubus fruticosus (blackberry)RosaceaeUnknown
Rubus idaeus (raspberry)RosaceaeOther
Rubus loganobaccus (loganberry)RosaceaeOther
Rubus lucidusUnknown
Salacia elegansSalaciaUnknown
Salpichroa origanifoliaSolanaceaeUnknown
Sandoricum koetjape (santol)MeliaceaeUnknown
SantalumSantalaceaeUnknown
Santalum album (Indian sandalwood)SantalaceaeOther
Santalum freycinetianumSantalaceaeUnknown
Scaevola plumieriGoodeniaceaeWild host
Scaevola taccada (beach naupaka)GoodeniaceaeWild host
Sideroxylon inermeSapotaceaeWild host
Sideroxylon polynesicumUnknown
Solanum (nightshade)SolanaceaeUnknown
Solanum aethiopicum (african scarlet eggplant)SolanaceaeUnknown
Solanum americanumSolanaceaeUnknown
Solanum glaucophyllumSolanaceaeUnknown
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
Solanum sisymbriifolium (sticky nightshade)SolanaceaeUnknown
Sorocea bonplandiiMoraceaeOther
Spondias dulcis (otaheite apple)AnacardiaceaeOther
Spondias mombin (hog plum)AnacardiaceaeUnknown
Spondias purpurea (red mombin)AnacardiaceaeOther
Spondias tuberosaAnacardiaceaeOther
Spondias venulosaUnknown
Strychnos decussataLoganiaceaeWild host
Strychnos henningsiiLoganiaceaeWild host
Strychnos potatorumLoganiaceaeWild host
Munro (1953)
Strychnos pungensWild host
Synsepalum dulcificumSapotaceaeWild host
Syzygium cordatumMyrtaceaeUnknown
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
Terminalia chebula (gall nut)CombretaceaeUnknown
Theobroma cacao (cocoa)MalvaceaeMain
Thevetia peruviana (yellow oleander)ApocynaceaeOther
Triphasia trifolia (limeberry)RutaceaeUnknown
Vaccinium corymbosum (blueberry)EricaceaeOther
Vangueria infausta (African medlar)RubiaceaeWild host
Vasconcellea quercifoliaUnknown
Vepris lanceolataRutaceaeWild host
Vepris nobilisUnknown
Vepris simplicifoliaUnknown
Vepris trichocarpaUnknown
Vitellaria paradoxa (shea tree)SapotaceaeUnknown
Vitis (grape)VitaceaeUnknown
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)VitaceaeUnknown
Vitis vinifera (grapevine)VitaceaeOther
Wikstroemia phillyreifoliaUnknown
Ximenia americana (hog plum)OlacaceaeUnknown
Ximenia caffraOlacaceaeUnknown
Ziziphus joazeiroRhamnaceaeOther
Ziziphus jujuba (common jujube)RhamnaceaeOther
Ziziphus mauritiana (jujube)RhamnaceaeOther
Ziziphus mucronataRhamnaceaeUnknown

Growth Stages

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Fruiting stage, Post-harvest

Symptoms

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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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SignLife StagesType
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)

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
48 45

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) -3

Rainfall Regime

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Bimodal
Summer

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Aceratoneuromyia indica Parasite Arthropods|Larvae Argentina; Australia; Bolivia; Central America; Hawaii; Israel; Italy fruits; vegetables
Aganaspis pelleranoi Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Anthocoris nemoralis Predator
Aphaereta ceratitivora Parasite Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Pupae Achterberg et al. (2012)
Bacillus pumilus Pathogen Arthropods|Larvae
Bacillus thuringiensis Pathogen
Bacillus thuringiensis thuringiensis Pathogen
Beauveria bassiana Pathogen Adults; Arthropods|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 Arthropods|Larvae Hawaii fruits
Biosteres kraussii Parasite Hawaii vegetables
Biosteres longicaudatus Parasite Arthropods|Pupae Argentina; Australia; Bolivia; Central America; Costa Rica; Israel; Peru; USA; Hawaii fruits; loquats; peaches
Biosteres tyroni Parasite Arthropods|Larvae Brazil fruits
Biosteres vandenboschi Parasite Central America; Israel fruits
Cardiastethus nazarenus Predator
Cheiracanthium mildei Predator
Coptera occidentalis Parasite Arthropods|Pupae
Coptera silvestrii Parasite Arthropods|Pupae
Coryctobracon areolatus Parasite
Cyrtorhinus lividipennis Predator
Diachasmimorpha tryoni Parasite Arthropods|Larvae Central America; Egypt; Hawaii; Israel; USA; Hawaii Citrus; fruits; loquats; peaches
Dirhinus anthracina Parasite Arthropods|Pupae
Dirhinus giffardii Parasite Greece; Hawaii; Israel; Italy; Peru fruits
Doryctobracon areolatus Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Doryctobracon crawfordi Parasite Arthropods|Larvae Hawaii fruits
Entomophthora muscae Pathogen Uziel et al. (2003)
Entomophthora schizophorae Pathogen Uziel et al. (2003)
Eupelmus urozonus Parasite
Fopius arisanus Parasite Eggs; Arthropods|Larvae
Fopius caudatus Parasite Hawaii fruits
Heterorhabditis bacteriophora Parasite Adults; Arthropods|Larvae Malan and Manrakhan (2009)
Linepithema humile Predator
Megaselia scalaris Parasite
Metarhizium anisopliae Pathogen Adults; Arthropods|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 Arthropods|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 Arthropods|Larvae
Pachycrepoideus vindemmiae Parasite Arthropods|Pupae Bolivia; Central America fruits
Pseudocoilia braziliensis Australia fruits
Psilus silvestrii Parasite Hawaii; Italy fruits
Psyttalia concolor Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Psyttalia humilis Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Psyttalia incisi Parasite Arthropods|Larvae
Solenopsis geminata Predator Arthropods|Pupae
Steinernema carpocapsae Parasite Arthropods|Pupae
Steinernema feltiae Parasite
Tetrastichus giffardianus Parasite Arthropods|Larvae Australia; Brazil; Central America; Egypt; Hawaii; Peru; Spain fruits
Tetrastichus giffardii Parasite Arthropods|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) arthropods/eggs; arthropods/larvae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Growing medium accompanying plants arthropods/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 Summary

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CategoryImpact
Animal/plant collections None
Animal/plant products Negative
Biodiversity (generally) None
Crop production Negative
Environment (generally) None
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production None
Human health None
Livestock production None
Native fauna Negative
Native flora None
Rare/protected species Negative
Tourism None
Trade/international relations Negative
Transport/travel None

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 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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Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Capable of securing and ingesting a wide range of food
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Gregarious
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Conflict
  • Host damage
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Negatively impacts livelihoods
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
  • Damages animal/plant products
  • Negatively impacts trade/international relations
Impact mechanisms
  • Herbivory/grazing/browsing
  • Rapid growth
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Difficult/costly to control

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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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

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.

References

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Tankoano P M, Diallo O B, Ouedraogo S N, Some N A, Noula K, Kalinganire A, 2012. Inventory of the pests of fruits of the Indian varieties of Ziziphus mauritiana Lam. (Rhamnaceae) in Burkina Faso. (Inventaire des insectes nuisibles aux fruits des variétés indiennes de Ziziphus mauritiana Lam. (Rhamnaceae) au Burkina Faso.). Fruits (Paris). 67 (3), 189-200. DOI:10.1051/fruits/2012012

Trassato L B, Monteiro Neto J L L, Lima A C S, Silva E S da, Ronchi-Teles B, Carmo I L G da S, 2017. First occurrence of Ceratitis capitata (Wied.) in the state of Roraima, Brazil. (Primeira ocorrência de Ceratitis capitata (Wied.) no estado de Roraima, Brasil.). Agro@mbiente On-line. 11 (1), 88-91. http://revista.ufrr.br/agroambiente/article/view/3594/2232

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Zekİ C, Er H, Özdem A, Bozkurt V, 2008. Distribution and infestation of Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata Wied.) (Diptera: Tephritidae) on pome and stone fruits in Isparta and Burdur Provinces (Turkey). Munis Entomology & Zoology. 3 (1), 231-238. http://www.munisentzool.org

Links to Websites

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WebsiteURLComment
GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gatewayhttps://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.m93f6Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS)http://griis.org/Data source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
True Fruit Flies (Diptera, Tephritidae) of the Afrotropical Regionhttp://projects.bebif.be/fruitfly/index.html

Contributors

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07/05/14 Updated by:

Chris Weldon, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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