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Fact Sheet: Mexican fruit fly | Citrus Pests
This tool is part of the Citrus Resource

Citrus Pests

 

Mexican fruit fly

 

Scientific name

 

Anastrepha ludens (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Similar species

 

Other species in the genus Anastrepha including:

Caribbean fruit fly, Anastrepha suspensa

  • Mexican fruit fly, A. ludens has a much longer ovipositor (only 1.45 – 1.6 mm long in A. suspensa).
  • Wing band color is pale yellow in A. ludens and dark brown in A. suspensa.

Distribution

 

United States: Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas. Currently listed as eradicated from these states.

Worldwide: Central America and Mexico.

Native to Mexico and Central America.

Diagnostic characteristics

 
Adults
  • Larger than a housefly, 7 - 10 mm (0.28 - 0.39 in.) in length.
  • Yellow to brown body and wing coloration.
  • Green eyes.
  • Females with relatively long, tubular ovipositor sheaths relative to body size. Ovipositor sheath is 3.35 - 4.7 mm (0.13 - 0.19 in.) in length.
  • Forewing is 6.6 - 9.0 mm (0.26 - 0.35 in.) in length.
Pupae
  • Tan to dark brownish-yellow.
  • Pupate in the soil.
Larvae
  • Three larval instars.
  • White or taking on the color of the food it ingests.
  • Cylindrical, elongated with mouth hooks.
  • Final instar is 9 - 12 mm (0.35 - 0.47 in.) in length.
Eggs
  • Cylindrical.
  • Tapered at one end.

Hosts

 
Citrus hosts

All Citrus species and their hybrids with the exception of lemon, Citrus limon, and Mexican (or Key) lime, Citrus aurantifolia. Strong preference for grapefruit, Citrus paradisi.

Non-citrus hosts

A partial list includes:

  • Annona spp.
  • apple, Malus domesticus
  • avocado, Persea americana
  • chapote, Diospyros texana
  • guava, Psidium guajava
  • mamey, Pouteria sapota
  • mango, Mangifera indica
  • peach, Prunus spp.
  • pear, Pyrus spp.
  • pomegranate, Punica granatum
  • quince,Cydonia oblonga
  • rose-apple, Syzygium aqueum
  • strawberry guava, Psidium littorale
  • white sapote, Casimiroa edulis

Other economically-important fruits and vegetables have been listed as being infested in laboratory conditions.

Host damage

 
Fruits

Larvae burrow into the pulp of developing fruit and leave through a large exit hole.

Biology

 

Adult females deposit groups of eggs on to the fruit surface as they begin to develop color. Eggs hatch in 6 - 12 days. Larvae burrow into interior of the fruit to feed on the pulp for 3 - 4 weeks. Larvae exit the fruit to pupate in the soil. Adults may live 11 - 16 months and lay over 1500 eggs. Breeding is continuous with 4 - 6 generations per year.

References

 

Weems, Jr., H.V., J.B. Heppner, and G.J. Steck. 2012. Featured creatures fact sheet: Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens (Loew) (Insecta: Diptera: Tephritidae). EENY-201. University of Florida. (http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/fruit/tropical/mexican_fruit_fly.htm).

(NAPPO) North American Plant Protection Organization. 2012. Anastrepha ludens (Mexican fruit fly) eradicated in the United States. Phytosanitary Alert System. (http://www.pestalert.org/oprDetail.cfm?oprID=511).

Arizona Department of Agriculture. 2012. Mexican Fruit Fly (MFF): Anastrepha ludens (Loew) Order - Diptera: Family - Tephritidae. (http://www.azda.gov/PSD/MexicanFruitFly.htm).

(CARI) Caribbean Pest Information Network. 2012. Anastrepha ludens. (http://www.caripestnetwork.org/vtt/docs/datasheets/diptera/anastrepha_ludens.pdf).

Authors

 

Weeks, J.A., A.C. Hodges, and N.C. Leppla

 

Citrus Pests
Content last updated June, 2012
idtools.org