Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Acanthiophilus helianthi
(fly, capsule)



Acanthiophilus helianthi (fly, capsule)


  • Last modified
  • 26 March 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Acanthiophilus helianthi
  • Preferred Common Name
  • fly, capsule
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Acanthiophilus helianthi (Rossi)

Preferred Common Name

  • fly, capsule

Other Scientific Names

  • Acinia eluta (Meigen)
  • Acinia helianthi (Rossi)
  • Musci helianthi Rossi
  • Trypanea eluta (Meigen)
  • Trypeta eluta Meigen
  • Urellia eluta (Meigen)
  • Urellia helianthi (Rossi)

International Common Names

  • English: capsule fly; fly, safflower; safflower fly

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Fliege, Saflor-

EPPO code

  • ACAIHE (Acanthiophilus helianthi)

Taxonomic Tree

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

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


AfghanistanPresentNHM, 1977; Richter, 1970; CABI/EPPO, 2003
ChinaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2003
-HebeiPresentWang, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2003
-HeilongjiangPresentNHM, 1977; CABI/EPPO, 2003
-Nei MengguPresentCABI/EPPO, 2003
-XinjiangPresentWang, 1996; CABI/EPPO, 2003
IndiaPresentAgarwal and Kapoor, 1988; CABI/EPPO, 2003
-BiharPresentHardy, 1977; CABI/EPPO, 2003
-DelhiPresentCABI/EPPO, 2003
-HaryanaPresentVerma et al., 1974; CABI/EPPO, 2003
-Jammu and KashmirPresentAgarwal & Kapoor, 1974; CABI/EPPO, 2003
-Madhya PradeshPresentCABI/EPPO, 2003
-MaharashtraPresentNHM, 1963; CABI/EPPO, 2003
-Uttar PradeshPresentHardy, 1977; CABI/EPPO, 2003
IranPresentDirlbek, 1980; CABI/EPPO, 2003
IraqPresentSelim, 1977; CABI/EPPO, 2003
IsraelWidespreadNHM, 1969; NHM, 1986; CABI/EPPO, 2003
JordanPresentNHM, 1961; NHM, 1966; CABI/EPPO, 2003
KazakhstanPresentFoote, 1984; CABI/EPPO, 2003
LebanonWidespreadNHM, 1977; CABI/EPPO, 2003
MongoliaPresentFoote, 1984; CABI/EPPO, 2003
PakistanPresentTalpur et al., 1995; CABI/EPPO, 2003
TajikistanPresentNHM, 1966; CABI/EPPO, 2003
ThailandRestricted distributionHardy, 1973; CABI/EPPO, 2003
TurkeyPresentNHM, 1960; NHM, 1962; NHM, 1965; Giray, 1979; CABI/EPPO, 2003


AlgeriaPresentNHM, 1983; CABI/EPPO, 2003
EgyptPresentSaddik and Miniawi, 1978; CABI/EPPO, 2003
EthiopiaPresentMunro, 1957; Cogan and Munro, 1980; CABI/EPPO, 2003
GambiaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2003
KenyaPresentMunro, 1957; CABI/EPPO, 2003
LibyaPresentNHM, 1937; CABI/EPPO, 2003
MoroccoPresentNHM, 1966; NHM, 1967; CABI/EPPO, 2003
NigeriaPresentNHM, 1967; CABI/EPPO, 2003
-Canary IslandsPresentMerz, 1992; CABI/EPPO, 2003
SudanPresentNHM, 1966; Cogan and Munro, 1980; CABI/EPPO, 2003
TunisiaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2003


AlbaniaPresentDirlbek and Dirlbek, 1966; CABI/EPPO, 2003
AustriaPresentNHM, 1938; NHM, 1969; CABI/EPPO, 2003; CABI/EPPO, 2003
Bosnia-HercegovinaPresentNHM, 1970; CABI/EPPO, 2003
BulgariaPresentNHM, 1959; CABI/EPPO, 2003
CyprusPresentNHM, 1937; NHM, 1949; CABI/EPPO, 2003
Czech RepublicPresentCABI/EPPO, 2003
Czechoslovakia (former)PresentDirlbek and Dirlbekova, 1985
FrancePresentNHM, 1934; NHM, 1982; NHM, 1987; CABI/EPPO, 2003
GermanyPresentCABI/EPPO, 2003
GreeceWidespreadNHM, 1939; NHM, 1972; NHM, 1984; NHM, 1985; CABI/EPPO, 2003
HungaryPresentNHM, 1965; Martinovich, 1966; CABI/EPPO, 2003
ItalyPresentNHM, 1986; Clement, 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2003
MacedoniaPresentNHM, 1918; CABI/EPPO, 2003
MoldovaPresentNHM, 1936; CABI/EPPO, 2003
NorwayRestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2003
PortugalPresentNHM, 1962; CABI/EPPO, 2003
-MadeiraPresentFoote, 1984; CABI/EPPO, 2003
-Portugal (mainland)PresentCABI/EPPO, 2003
RomaniaPresentNHM, 1985; NHM, 1986; CABI/EPPO, 2003
Russian FederationPresentRichter, 1970; Shurovenkov, 1983; CABI/EPPO, 2003
-Eastern SiberiaPresentCABI/EPPO, 2003
-Russian Far EastPresentShurovenkov, 1983; CABI/EPPO, 2003
SlovakiaWidespreadCABI/EPPO, 2003
SloveniaPresentManojlovic, 1991; CABI/EPPO, 2003
SpainPresentNHM, 1933; CABI/EPPO, 2003
-Spain (mainland)PresentCABI/EPPO, 2003
SwitzerlandWidespreadMerz, 1994; CABI/EPPO, 2003
UKRestricted distributionCABI/EPPO, 2003
UkrainePresentRichter, 1970; CABI/EPPO, 2003
Yugoslavia (former)PresentManojlovic, 1991
Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro)PresentCABI/EPPO, 2003

Growth Stages

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List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Fruit / internal feeding
Inflorescence / internal feeding

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Bracon Predator/parasite Larvae
Eurytoma acroptilae Parasite USSR Acroptilon repens
Eurytoma tibialis Parasite
Microdontomerus annulata Predator/parasite Larvae
Pronotalia Predator/parasite Larvae
Torymoides kiesenwetteri Parasite

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Clothing, footwear and possessionsCut flowers. Yes
Containers and packaging - woodContainers of cut flowers or safflower for oil production. Yes
Land vehiclesTransport of cut flowers or safflower for oil production. Yes
MailCut flowers. Yes

Plant Trade

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


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Agarwal ML; Kapoor VC, 1982. Acanthiophilus helianthi (Rossi) and Chetostoma completum Kapoor et al. (Diptera: Tephritidae), serious pests of Centaurea cyanus Linnpus (Compositp) in India. Journal of Entomological Research, 6(1):102-104.

Agarwal ML; Kapoor VC, 1986. New records of some hymenopterous parasites of fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) from India. Bulletin of Entomology (New Delhi), 27(2):193

Agarwal ML; Kapoor VC, 1988. Four new species of fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae: Tephritini) together with a redescription of Trupanea inpquabilis Hering and their distribution in India. Journal of Entomological Research, 12(2):117-128

Al-Ali AS; Al-Neamy IK; Abbas SA; Abdul-Masih AME, 1977. On the life-history of the safflower fly Acanthiophilus helianthi Rossi (Dipt., Tephritidae) in Iraq. Zeitschrift fur Angewandte Entomologie, 83(2):216-223

Belcari A, 1985. Presence of Acanthiophilus helianthi on sunflower in Tuscany. Informatore Fitopatologico, 35(5):23-26.

Belcari A, 1989. Contributi alla conoscenza dei ditteri tefritidi. IV. Descrizione della larva di terza eta di Acanthiophilus helianthi (Rossi), Dacus oleae (Gmel.), Ceratitis capitata (Wied.), Acidia cognata Wied. e considerazioni preliminari sulle differenziazioni morfologiche legate al diverso trofismo. Frustula Entomologica, 10:83-125.

CABI/EPPO, 2003. Acanthiophilus helianthi. Distribution Maps of Plant Pests, No. 639. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

Chaudhary BS; Singh OP; Rawat RR, 1983. Field evaluation of some insecticides against the safflower aphid, the capsule fly and the predator. Pesticides, 17(7):30-32.

Clement SL, 1994. Resistance among populations of yellow starthistle to thistle-head insects: results from garden plots in Italy. Biological Control, 4(2):149-156.

Cogan BH; Munro; HK, 1980. 40. Family Tephritidae, In: Crosskey RW, ed. Catalogue of the Diptera of the Afrotropical Region. London, UK: British Museum (Natural History), 518-554.

Dirlbek J, 1980. Ergebnisse der Tschechoslowakischen expedition des Nationalmuseums in Prag nach Iran (Diptera: Tephritidae). Acta Universitatis Carolinea - Biologica, 1977:269-274.

Dirlbek J; Dirlbekova O, 1985. Results of investigating the host plants of fruit flies Diptera, Tephritidae in the CSSR. Annals of the Research Institute for Crop Production, Prague-Ruzyne, 23:151-164.

Dirlbek K; Dirlbek J, 1966. Ergebnisse der Albanien-Expedition 1961 des Deutschen Entomologischen Institutes, 58. Beitrag, Diptera: Tephritidae. BeitrSge zur Entomologie, 16:523-536.

Feron M; Vidaud J, 1960. La mouche du carthame Acanthiophilus helianthi Rossi (Dipt. Trypetidae) en France. Revue de Pathologie Végétale et d'Entomologie Agricole de France, 39(1):1-12.

Foote RH, 1984. Tephritidae (Trypetidae). In: Soos A, Papp L, eds. Catalogue of Palaearctic Diptera, 9. Budapest, Hungary: Akadémiai Kiadó, 66-149.

Giray H, 1979. A preliminary list of the fauna of Turkish Trypetidae (Diptera). Turkiye Bitki Koruma Dergisi, 3(1):35-46.

Hardy DE, 1973. The fruit flies (Tephritidae - Diptera) of Thailand and bordering countries. Pacific Insects Monograph, 31:1-353.

Hardy DE, 1977. Tephritidae (Trypetidae, Trupaneidae), In: Delfinado MD, Hardy DE, eds. A Catalog of the Diptera of the Oriental Region, Vol. III. Honolulu, USA: University Press of Hawaii, 44-134.

Hegazi EM; Moursi KS, 1983. Studies on distribution and biology of the capsule fly Acanthiophilus helianthi Rossi on wild plants in Egyptian Western Desert. Zeitschrift für Angewandte Entomologie, 96(4):333-336.

Jakhmola SS; Yadav HS, 1980. Incidence of and losses caused by capsule fly Acanthiophilus helianthi Rossi in different varieties of safflower. Indian Journal of Entomology, 42(1):48-53.

Manojlovic B, 1991. Phytophagous insect species of the family Tephritidae (Diptera) registered in the Centaurea solstitialis L. (Asteraceae) flower heads. Zastita Bilja, 42(196):127-136.

Martinovich V, 1966. Porsafrany-legy (Acanthiophilus helianthi Rossi) a Centaurea magtermesztes kartevoje Magyarorszagon (Dipt. Trypetidae). Folia Entomologica Hungarica, 19:375-402.

Menon MG; Ramdas; Kapoor VC; Mahto Y, 1969. Centaurea americana as a new host plant record for the fruit flies, Acanthiophilus helianthi Rossi and Craspedoxantha octopunctata Bezzi in India. Indian Journal of Entomology, 30:316.

Merz B, 1992. The fruit flies of the Canary Islands (Diptera: Tephritidae). Entomologica Scandinavica, 23(2):215-231.

Merz B, 1994. Insecta Helvetica, Fauna, 10: Diptera Tephritidae. Neuchatel, Switzerland; Centre Suisse de Cartographie de la Faune (CSCF), 198 pp.

Munro HK, 1957. Trypetidae. Ruwenzori Expedition 1934-35. London, UK: British Museum (Natural History), 2:853-1054.

Perju T; Moldovan I, 1991. Entomofauna speciilor de Centaurea in perspectiva combaterii lor pe cale biologica. Buletinul Institutului Agronomic Cluj Napoca. Seria Agricultura si Horticultura, 45:73-84.

Ricci C; Ciriciofolo E, 1983. Observations on Acanthophilus helianthi Rossi (Diptera Tephritidae) injurious to safflower in central Italy. Redia, 66:577-592.

Richter VA, 1970. Part 62. Tephritidae (Trypetidae), In: Bienko GyaBei, ed. Keys to the Insects of the European part of the USSR. Opredeliteli po Faune SSSR, 103(5):132-172.

Rotrekl J, 1996. Potential pests of mallow (Malva verticillata L.) and safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.). Sbornik Vedeckych Praci - Vyzkumny Ustav Picninarsky spol. s.r.o. Troubsko, 14:119-124; 6 ref.

Saddik A; El-Miniawi SF, 1978. A study on infestation of artichoke Cynara cardunculus v. scalymus L. by looper caterpillars and other pests. Proceedings of the Fourth Conference of Pest Control (Part I). Cairo, Egypt: Academy of Scientific Research and Technology and National Research Centre, 179-187.

Selim AA, 1977. Insect pests of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) in Mosul Northern Iraq. Mesopotamia Journal of Agriculture, 12(1):75-78.

Shah AD; Lohar MK; Jatoi GF; Jugtani TK, 1994. Relative toxicity of different insecticides against shootfly, Acanthiophilus helianthi on safflower, Carthamus tinctorous L. Sarhad Journal of Agriculture, 10(2):179-181.

Shurovenkov BG, 1983. Phytophages of yellow sowthistle. Zashchita Rasteni, No. 11:22-23.

Singh RN; Dass R; Singh RK; Gangasaran, 1982. Incidence of rootfly, Acanthophilus helianthi Rossi in safflower under rainfed conditions at Delhi. Indian Journal of Entomology, 44(4):408.

Swailem SM, 1974. On the bionomics of Lindingaspis ferrisi McKenzie (Hemiptera-Homoptera:Diaspididae). Bulletin de la Societé Entomologique d'Egypte, 58:17-24.

Talpur MA; Hussain T; Rustamani MA; Gaad MA, 1995. Relative resistance of safflower varieties to safflower shootfly, Acanthiophilus helianthi Rossi (Diptera: Tephritidae). Proceedings of Pakistan Congress of Zoology, 15:177-181; 11 ref.

Verma AN; Singh R; Mehrotra N, 1972. Acanthiophilus helianthi Rossi-a serious pest of safflower in Haryana. Indian Journal of Entomology, 34(4):364-365.

Wang XJ, 1996. The fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) of the East Asian region. Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica, 21(Supp.).

White IM, 1988. Tephritid flies: Diptera: Tephritidae. Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects. London, UK: Royal Entomological Society, 10(5a):134 pp.

White IM; Elson-Harris MM, 1994. Fruit Flies of Economic Significance. Their Identification and Bionomics. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

White IM; Groppe K; Sobhian R, 1990. Tephritids of knapweeds, starthistles and safflower: results of a host choice experiment and the taxonomy of Terellia luteola (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research, 80(1):107-111.

Zandigiacomo P; Iob M, 1991. Acanthiophilus helianthi Rossi (Diptera Tephritidae) on safflower in Friuli. Bollettino di Zoologia Agraria e di Bachicoltura, 23(1):31-38.

Zwolfer H, 1983. Life systems and strategies of resource exploitation in tephritids. In: Cavalloro R, ed. Fruit flies of economic importance. Proceedings of the CEC/IOBC International Symposium, Athens, Greece: Rotterdam, Netherlands: A. A. Balkema, 16-30.

Distribution Maps

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