Ceratitis cosyra (mango fruit fly)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Pathway Vectors
- Plant Trade
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Ceratitis cosyra (Walker)
Preferred Common Name
- mango fruit fly
Other Scientific Names
- Ceratitis giffardi Bezzi
- Pardalaspis cosyra (Walker)
- Pardalaspis giffardi (Bezzi)
- Pardalaspis giffardi var. sarcocephali Bezzi
- Pardalaspis parinarii Hering
- Pardalaspis sarcocephali (Bezzi)
- Trypeta cosyra Walker
International Common Names
- English: fruit fly, mango; marula fly; marula fruit fly
Local Common Names
- Germany: Fruchtfliege, Natal-
- CERTCO (Ceratitis cosyra)
- CERTGI (Ceratitis giffardi)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Diptera
- Family: Tephritidae
- Genus: Ceratitis
- Species: Ceratitis cosyra
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page C. cosyra belongs to subgenus Ceratalaspis and its name may therefore be cited as Ceratitis (Ceratalaspis) cosyra (Walker). De Meyer (1998) expressed an opinion that West African populations, normally referred to as C. giffardi, should be regarded as mere geographic variants of C. cosyra, and consequently C. giffardi is here regarded as a synonym of C. cosyra.
DescriptionTop of page Adult
The genus Ceratitis belongs to the family Tephritidae, which is part of the superfamily Tephritoidea. In common with most species of Tephritoidea it has patterned wings, and the female has a long telescopic and pointed ovipositor; these features are rarely known outside the Tephritoidea. The family Tephritidae may also be separated from all other Diptera by the shape of the subcostal vein, which bends abruptly through a right-angle and fades to a fold before reaching the wing edge, combined with the presence of setulae on the dorsal side of wing vein R1.
The genus Ceratitis, in common with species of Neoceratitis and Trirhithrum, some of which also attack commercial fruits in Africa, has a wing pattern consisting of a short costal band, a preapical crossband and a discal crossband, together with a pattern of spots and fleck-shaped dark markings in the basal cells. Cells bm and bcu are of similar depth and the extension of cell bcu (=cup) is short and swollen along its anterior edge. A diagnostic key is provided in this compendium to separate the pest genera of Tephritidae.
Trapped material is likely to include non-pest species and in that instance identification to species is a specialist task using the key provided by De Meyer (1998). Identification of specimens reared from commercial hosts, in which a limited range of species may be expected, can be carried out using the key provided. The following diagnosis will separate C. cosyra from most other common species in the genus:
Scutum predominantly yellow and wing patterned with yellow crossbands; scutellum with three large and separate apical dark marks; wing with costal band and discal crossbands separate, and costal band starting beyond end of vein R1; anepisternum with 1 seta. Males without apically expanded orbital setae or midleg feathering.
A detailed description was presented by Kandybina (1977) but those data are unlikely to be sufficient for reliable diagnosis as no comparative study of the larvae of the genus has been carried out.
DistributionTop of page
De Meyer (1998) also listed records from Ghana, Guinea (Conakry), Uganda and Zambia, none of which could be confirmed by his examination of voucher specimens. However, a more extensive survey will probably show that this species is present in all sub-Saharan African countries in which suitable hosts are grown, for example, Javaid (1986) indicated its importance in Zambia.
C. cosyra 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).
Distribution TableTop of page
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: 23 Apr 2020
Risk of IntroductionTop of page C. cosyra poses a phytosanitary risk to other countries with a suitable tropical climate and suitable hosts crops, particularly mango.
Habitat ListTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page The principle host of C. cosyra is maroola plum (Sclerocarya birrea) but it will also heavily attack mango (Mangifera indica); there are records from several other fruit crops including guava (Psidium guajava), citrus, early peaches (Prunus persica), avocado (Persea americana) and wild hosts belonging to a wide range of families. Tabulated hosts are all taken from the list of confirmed hosts provided by De Meyer (1998); other host records should be disregarded pending confirmation.
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Annona cherimola (cherimoya)||Annonaceae||Other|
|Annona muricata (soursop)||Annonaceae||Other|
|Annona reticulata (bullock's heart)||Annonaceae||Other|
|Annona senegalensis (wild custard apple)||Annonaceae||Other|
|Citrus aurantium (sour orange)||Rutaceae||Other|
|Mangifera indica (mango)||Anacardiaceae||Main|
|Persea americana (avocado)||Lauraceae||Other|
|Prunus persica (peach)||Rosaceae||Other|
|Psidium guajava (guava)||Myrtaceae||Other|
|Sclerocarya birrea (marula)||Anacardiaceae||Wild host|
Growth StagesTop of page Fruiting stage
SymptomsTop of page Attacked fruit usually shows signs of oviposition punctures around which necrosis may occur.
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Fruit / discoloration|
|Fruit / extensive mould|
|Fruit / gummosis|
|Fruit / internal feeding|
|Fruit / lesions: black or brown|
|Fruit / lesions: scab or pitting|
|Fruit / obvious exit hole|
|Fruit / odour|
|Fruit / ooze|
Biology and EcologyTop of page Few specific details are known. Mature females of Ceratitis oviposit into fruit, usually at the start of ripening (this may vary with fly or host species); there are three larval instars and they develop over a period of about 1 week (Grove et al., 1997); final instar larvae of Ceratitis drop to the ground, find a crack to drop into, and then form a puparium (hardened larvae skin) within which pupation takes place; pupariation lasts 10-12 days (Silvestri, 1913); adults may be expected to emerge after 1-2 weeks; adults of known species of Ceratitis are long lived (2-3 months) and so several generations must be completed in each year.
Natural enemiesTop of page
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page The parasitoids of African fruit flies are little known.
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page Adult flight and the transport of infested fruits are the major means of movement and dispersal to previously uninfested areas.
Pathway VectorsTop of page
|Clothing, footwear and possessions||Cases or bags||Yes|
|Containers and packaging - wood||Of fruit cargo||Yes|
|Land vehicles||Lorries carrying cargo||Yes|
|Fruit in post||Yes|
|Ship structures above the water line||Carrying cargo||Yes|
|Soil, sand and gravel||Risk of puparia in soil||Yes|
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility 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|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches|
|True seeds (inc. grain)|
ImpactTop of page C. cosyra is recorded from a limited range of plants, but it is the major fruit fly pest of mangoes in Kenya (Malio, 1979), Zambia (Javaid, 1986), Zimbabwe (Rendell et al., 1995) and some areas of South Africa (Labuschagne et al., 1996). Conversely, in Cote d'Ivoire it was the major pest of guava (N'Guetta, 1994).
DiagnosisTop of page
EPPO (2011) have published a diagnostic protocol for C. cosyra.
Detection and InspectionTop of page Males are sometimes attracted to traps baited with terpineol acetate (Hancock, 1987). Both sexes may be monitored using protein bait traps (either protein hydrolysate or protein autolysate) but these traps also collect large numbers of non-target insects; see Drew (1982) for further details.
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page C. cosyra is only likely to be confused with C. discussa. Reliable separation is a specialist task (see De Meyer, 1998, for details). However, most specimens can be separated by the colour of the basal scutellar spots (yellowish in C. discussa and black in C. cosyra).
Prevention and ControlTop of page
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.When detected, it is important to gather all fallen and infected host fruits, and destroy them. Baited traps should be used to monitor population size and spread continuously. Insecticide protection is possible by using a cover or bait spray. Malathion is the usual choice of insecticide for fruit fly control and this is usually combined with protein hydrolysate to form a bait spray (Roessler, 1989); practical details are given by Bateman (1982). Bait sprays work on the principle that both male and female tephritids are strongly attracted to a protein source from which ammonia emanates. Bait sprays have the advantage over cover sprays that they can be applied as a spot treatment so that the flies are attracted to the insecticide and there is minimal impact on natural enemies.
A considerable body of research is now available on the post-harvest control of C. cosyra. Grove et al. (1998) found that C. cosyra larvae were more heat tolerant than those of C. capitata or C. rosa but 98.7% mortality followed 70 minutes hydro-heating at 46.1-46.7°C. Steyn and Grove (1999) experimented with cold storage and found that 3 weeks storage at 7.5°C or less killed all larvae.
ReferencesTop of page
Bateman MA, 1982. III. Chemical methods for suppression or eradication of fruit fly populations, In: Drew RAI, Hooper GHS, Bateman MA eds. Economic Fruit Flies of the South Pacific Region. 2nd edn. Brisbane, Australia: Queensland Department of Primary Industries, 115-128.
de Meyer M, 1998. Revision of the subgenus Ceratitis (Ceratalaspis) Hancock (Diptera: Tephritidae. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 88:257-290.
Drew RAI, 1982. Fruit fly collecting. In: Drew RAI, Hooper GHS, Bateman MA, eds. Economic Fruit Flies of the South Pacific Region, 2nd edition. Brisbane, Australia: Queensland Department of Primary Industries, 129-139.
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization, 2011. Diagnostics: Ceratitis cosyra. Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin, 41(3):347-351. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1365-2338
Grove T; Steyn WP; de Beer MS, 1997. Vrugtevliegontwikkeling in verskillende mangokultivars. Yearbook South African Mango Growers' Association, 17:126-130.
Grove T; Steyn WP; de Beer MS, 1998. Warm water behandeling as 'n kwarantynmaatreel vir vrugtevliegbesmette mango's. Yearbook South African Mango Growers' Association, 18:23-25.
Kandybina MN, 1977. The larvae of fruit-flies (Diptera, Tephritidae). Keys to the fauna of the USSR No.114. Lichinki plodovykh mykh-pestrokrylok (Diptera, Tephritidae). Opredeliteli po faune SSSR 114. Leningrad, USSR: Nauka, 212 pp.
Roessler Y, 1989. Control; insecticides; insecticidal bait and cover sprays. In: Robinson AS, Hooper G, eds. Fruit Flies. Their Biology, Natural Enemies and Control. World Crop Pests 3(B). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier, 329-336.
Sewoosunkur Gopaul; Zenz N; Price N, 2000. Local production of protein bait for fruit fly monitoring and control. In: Proceedings of the Indian Ocean Commission, Regional Fruit Fly Symposium, Flic en Flac, Mauritius, 5th-9th June, 2000 [ed. by Price, N. S.\Seewooruthun, I.]. Quatre Bornes, Mauritius: Indian Ocean Commission, 41-47.
Silvestri F, 1913. Viaggio in Africa per cercare parassiti di mosche dei frutti. Bolletino del Laboratorio di Zoologia Generale e Agraria della R. Scuola Superiore d'Agricoltura, Portici, 8:1-164.
Vayssières JF; Wharton R; Delvare G; Sanogo F, 2004. Diversity and pest control potential of hymenopteran parasitoids of Ceratitis spp. on mangos in Mali. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on fruit flies of economic importance, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 6-10 May 2002 [ed. by Barnes, B. N.]. Irene, South Africa: Isteg Scientific Publications, 461-464.
CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
de Meyer M, 1998. Revision of the subgenus Ceratitis (Ceratalaspis) Hancock (Diptera: Tephritidae). In: Bulletin of Entomological Research, 88 257-290.
Steck G J, Gilstrap F E, Wharton R A, Hart W G, 1986. Braconid parasitoids of Tephritidae (Diptera) infesting coffee and other fruits in West-Central Africa. Entomophaga. 31 (1), 59-67. DOI:10.1007/BF02390920
Vayssières J F, Wharton R, Delvare G, Sanogo F, 2004. Diversity and pest control potential of hymenopteran parasitoids of Ceratitis spp. on mangos in Mali. In: Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on fruit flies of economic importance, Stellenbosch, South Africa, 6-10 May 2002. [ed. by Barnes B N]. Irene, South Africa: Isteg Scientific Publications. 461-464.
Distribution MapsTop of page
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