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Citrus Pests


Caribbean fruit fly


Scientific name


Anastrepha suspensa (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Other common names


caribfly, Greater Antilliean fruit fly, guava fruit fly

Similar species


Other species in the genus Anastrepha including the Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens.

  • Mexican fruit fly, A. ludens has a much longer ovipositor (3.35 - 4.7 mm long in A. ludens).
  • Wing band color is pale yellow in A. ludens and dark brown in A. suspensa.



United States: California, Florida, and Puerto Rico.

Worldwide: Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Hispaniola, and Jamaica.

Native to the Caribbean islands.

Diagnostic characteristics

  • 6.5 mm (0.25 in). Typical size range is 1/2 to 2 times larger than a house fly.
  • Yellow-orange to brown body.
  • Two wings with marbled yellow-brown to brown markings. The second vein of the wing, known as the sub-costal vein, turns nearly 90° to the first and front vein (costal vein) of the wing but does not reach the costal vein. Also, the front vein (costal vein) has a small break in it approximately where the second vein (sub-costal) turns forward.
  • Ovipositor of the female is nearly as long as the abdomen.
  • Black spot is found on top (dorsal) side of the thorax between the rear two plates of the thorax (notum and scutellum).
  • Elongate oval, shiny brown, hard cocoon-like structure (puparium).
  • Pupate in the soil.
  • Three larval instars prior to pupation.
  • 9 - 13mm (0.35 - 0.51 in.).
  • Creamy white.
  • Similar in shape to a carrot.
  • Not typically seen, laid singly under the peel of the fruit.
  • Usually two or fewer eggs are laid per fruit.


Citrus hosts

Note: Two strains are reported, each with a different host range. The more common strain, known as the Key West strain, has a preferred host of guava, Psidium guajava; Surinam cherry, Eugenia uniflora; and loquat, Eriobotrya japonica. The Key West strain only attacks overripe citrus fruit. The Puerto Rican strain appears to be more problematic, attacking citrus and other tropical and sub-tropical fruits.

  • calamondin, Citrus mitis
  • common mandarins (including tangerine), Citrus reticulata
  • grapefruit, Citrus paradisi
  • king mandarin, Citrus nobilis
  • lime, Citrus aurantifolia
  • limequat, Citrus aurantifolia x Fortunella japonica
  • Rangpur lime, Citrus limona
  • sweet orange, Citrus sinensis
  • tangelo, Citrus paradisi x Citrus reticulata
  • temple orange, Citrus sinensis x Citrus reticulata
Non-citrus hosts

More than 100 host plants are recorded including:

  • avocado, Persea americana
  • guava, Psidium guajava
  • kumquat, Fortunella crassifolia
  • kumquat (oval), Fortunella margarita
  • loquat, Eriobotrya japonica
  • mango, Mangifera indica
  • peach, Prunus persica
  • pear, Pyrus communis
  • pomegranate, Punica granatum
  • Surinam cherry, Eugenia uniflora

Host damage


Larvae tunnel through fruit feeding on the pulp.



Females deposit 1 - 2 eggs under the fruit peel of mature or overripe fruit. Larvae hatch and tunnel within the fruit. After completing three larval instars, the larvae drop from the fruit and pupate in the soil, later emerging as adults. Life cycle can be completed in one month, allowing several generations per year.



Burk, T. 1983. Behavioral Ecology of Mating in the Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa (Loew) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Florida Entomologist 66(3): 330-344.

California Department of Food and Agriculture. 2010. Caribbean fruit fly Host List. (

Clark, R.A.,and H.V. Weems, Jr. 1989. Detection, quarantine, and eradication of fruit flies invading Florida. Proc. Florida State Hort. Soc. 102: 159-164.

(NAPIS) National Agricultural Pest Information System. Purdue University. 2012. Survey Status of Caribbean Fruit Fly - Anastepha suspensa. (

Norrbom, A.L. 2000. The Diptera Site. Systematic Entomology Laboratory, ARS, USDA and Department of Entomology, NMNH, SI. Viewed online 21 February 2010 at:

Steck, G.J., L.E. Carroll, H. Celedonio-Hurtado, and J. Guillen-Aquilar. 1990. Methods for identification of Anastrepha larvae (Diptera: Tephritidae), and key to 13 species. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Washington 92: 333-346.

Swanson, R.W. 1972. Host Range and Infestation by the Caribbean Fruit Fly, Anastrepha suspensa (Diptera: Tephritidae), in South Florida. Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society 85: 271-274.

Triplehorn, C.A. and N.F. Johnson (eds.). 2005. Borror and Delong's Introduction to the Study of Insects. 7th edition, Thomson Brooks & Cole: Belmont, CA.

Weems H.V., J.B. Heppner, T.R. Fasulo, and J.L. Nation. 2001. Featured Creatures Fact Sheet: Caribbean fruit fly Anastrepha suspensa (Loew) (Insecta: Diptera: Tephritidae). Publication EENY 196. University of Florida. (



Weeks, J.A., K.W. Martin, A.C. Hodges, and N.C. Leppla


Citrus Pests
Content last updated June, 2012