Fruit Flies (Diptera: Tephritidae)

The family Tephritidae (=Trypetidae), the true fruit flies, includes about 4000 species arranged in 500 genera. As such, it is amongst the largest families of Diptera (true flies), and one of the most economically important. The larvae of most species develop in the seed-bearing organs of plants, and about 35% of species attack soft fruits, including many commercial fruits. Hence the name fruit flies, although geneticists and some entomologists use that term for the Drosophilidae. Besides attacking soft fruit, the larvae of about 40% of species develop in the flowers of Asteraceae ( = Compositae) and most of the remaining species are associated with the flowers of other families, or their larvae are miners in leaf, stem or root tissue. Very few species of known biology are non-phytophagous.

PEST CABWeb® brings you a brief description of the fruit fly problem from Ian White of the International Institute of Entomology (IIE).

Fruit flies are the subject of a recently published electronic identification key: CABIKEY to Indo-Australasian Dacini Fruit Flies by I.M. White of IIE and D. L. Hancock, now of the Queensland Dept. Primary Industries. This CABIKEY application enables identification of all Dacini (Diptera: Tephritidae) of the Oriental, Pacific, and Australasian regions, and includes some coverage of the Afrotropical fauna.

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