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Mediterranean fruit fly

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Mediterranean fruit fly
Mediterranean fruit fly.jpg
Scientific Classification

[2]

Binomial Name

Ceratitis capitata

The Mediterranean fruit fly is a species of fruit fly known by the scientific name ''Ceratitis capitata''. The Medfly is an invasive species that can be found all over the world, because of their tolerance to many weather conditions. Mediterranean fruit flies are easily separated from all other members of the fly family by the black point at the apex (the tip, point, or vertex; summit) of the anterior pair of orbital (a region surrounding an atomic nucleus in which the probability distribution of the electrons is given by a wave function) setae (a stiff hair; bristle or bristle like part.). The fruit fly starts off as an egg. This egg is laid in a fruit, where it later develops into a larvae. The larvae then eats its way out of the fruit and falls to the ground. In the ground, the larvae will pupate (develop a thin brown shell-like casing, where they will stay until they finally become an adult). Also, fruit flies live almost everywhere. The Mediterranean Fruit Fly originated in native to sub-Saharan Africa, but has now spread in temperate and subtropical regions worldwide and wherever fruit trees grow, like the Mediterranean region, Africa, Australia, South America e.t.c... However, it is adaptable to cooler climates as well. The Mediterranean fruit fly is spread mainly by the shipping of infested fruit, vegetables, or nuts. People can cause infestations when they mail, ship, or bring with them infected fruits to an uninfected area. In this era of jet travel and shipping, the Mediterranean fruit fly can be transported from one end of the globe to another in only a matter of hours. The females attack the fruit by piercing the skin of a ripe or ripening fruit. When they do this, they lay 3 to 14 eggs. One way to keep down on the pest control of the medfly is to set out a lot of traps. The traps haven't shown any sign that it is a good control method but people still use it. The medfly is just a regular fly but can be dangerous, I encourage you to read more.

Body Design

Mediterranean fruit fly's are easily separated from all other members of this family by the black point at the apex (the tip, point, or vertex; summit) of the anterior pair of orbital (a region surrounding an atomic nucleus in which the probability distribution of the electrons is given by a wave function) setae (a stiff hair; bristle or bristle like part.).[4]

The body design of a Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) is very unique. There are many different colors, shapes, and sizes that make the Mediterranean fruit fly different from others. The adult fly is about 1/6 to 1/5 inches long, about 2/3 the size of a housefly. The general color of this fly is yellowish with a slight color of brown, especially the abdomen (the part of the body of a mammal between the thorax and the pelvis; belly) and the legs[3]. The oval shaped abdomen has fine, black bristles in many spots, and has two narrow, light colored bands on the basal (base) half. The head of the male has two long black bristles with flattened, somewhat diamond shaped tips, close and between the eyes near the antennae (one of the jointed, movable, sensory appendages occurring in pairs on the heads of insects and most other arthropods). On the male eyes are reddish purple (fluoresce green, turning blackish within 24 hours after death). The wings, usually in a drooping position, are broad, glassy with black, brown, and brownish yellow markings, with colors that look faded[4]. There is a somewhat wide, brownish yellow band across the middle of each wing. The base is spotted with brownish yellow; the rest of the base area is marked with black, forming dark lines of the wing veins, with dark spots between them[5].


The female can be distinguished by her long ovipositor, (in certain female insects an organ at the end of the abdomen, by which eggs are deposited). The female has a pointed, slender ovipositor to lay eggs beneath the skin of the host fruit (the host fruit is a plant from which a parasite obtains nutrition). The female's extended ovipositor is 1.2 mm long. The males are easily separated from all other members of this family by the black point at the apex of the anterior pair of orbital setae (a stiff bristle). The females can be separated from most other species by the different yellow wing pattern and the apical half of the scutellum (a small shield like part) being entirely black. The Medfly looks somewhat like a regular fly but if you take a closer look you can tell that they are in fact different[6].

Life Cycle

Mediterranean Fruit Fly pupae

The life cycle of the Mediterranean Fruit Fly consists of four stages. Metamorphosis also occurs in the Medfly, like all other flies. The fruit fly starts off as an egg. When the mother lays an egg, it is put inside of a fruit, preferably an apricot, over a fruit such as an apple or pear[7]. This egg later develops into a larvae, which destroys the pulp of the fruit. After the fruit is destroyed, the larvae leaves the fruit and burrows into the ground. In the ground, the larvae will pupate (develop a thin brown shell-like casing, where they will stay until they finally become an adult)[8]. The entire life cycle of a Mediterranean fruit fly can be simply about three weeks, depending on the climate that the Medfly is in, and what kind of fruit it makes its home. However, during those three weeks, a population of Mediterranean fruit flies can ravage or destroy large amounts of agriculture.

It is important that we know about the Medfly life cycle because we especially want to know their modes of reproduction so that we can do as much as we can to stop them. Mediterranean fruit flies are known to go into waiting mode, where they simply wait. However, once they come across an amount of protein, they switch to a reproductive mode [9]. The modes of reproduction in the Mediterranean Fruit Fly are relatively unknown, but it is known that the switch from waiting mode to reproductive mode happens with an amount of protein. It is also known that some bait sprays can stop reproduction. The temperature of the atmosphere is key when studying the Medfly. The female Medfly will not lay eggs when the temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The male will become sexually active after about four days, while the female will become sexually active after about 6 to 8 days. Both males and females are sexually active throughout the day and not at night. Adults usually die after about four days without food, but if an adult has a good supply of food and a very healthy lifestyle, it can live for up to about two months [10].

Ecology

The Mediterranean Fruit Fly's habitat range

The Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata) is very different from an ordinary fruit fly. One example is that the Mediterranean Fruit Fly's body is much like a common housefly, but is slightly smaller. Second, the adult Mediterranean Fruit Fly can only fly short distances unless the wind carries them further[11]. Also, fruit flies live almost everywhere, however the Mediterranean Fruit Fly originated in native to sub-Saharan Africa, but has now spread in temperate and subtropical regions worldwide and wherever fruit trees grow, like the Mediterranean region, Africa, Australia, South America e.t.. However it is adaptable to cooler climates as well[12].

The Mediterranean Fruit Fly's larvae eat out of the ripe fruit or vegetable that the adult females have hatched them in. The adult Mediterranean Fruit Fly eats more than two hundred species of plants, like the citrus fruit[13]. They feed and destroy fruits and vegetables. They also eat honeydew and plant sap. The Mediterranean Fruit Fly was probably introduced to different regions through imported fruit and other crops infested with the larvae. One predator of the Ceratitis capitata is the Argentine ant (Iridomyrmex humilis). In a laboratory, fifty adult Mediterranean Fruit Flies were places in the ant colony. In ten minutes, an average of seven ants per larva killed all of the flies[14].

Ceratitis capitata

Spreading and Infestation

Larvae growing inside a fruit

The Mediterranean fruit fly is spread mainly by the shipping of infested fruit, vegetables, or nuts. People can cause infestations when they mail, ship, or bring with them infected fruits to an uninfected area[15]. In this era of jet travel and shipping, the Mediterranean fruit fly can be transported from one end of the globe to another in only a matter of hours. If an infected fruit is not properly disposed of, then an infestation may begin. The larva in the host fruit will eat their way out and burrow into the soil. This is where they will develop into adult flies. Then these flies will go out and infect more fruit,] repeating the cycle[15]. Once the Medfly is established in an area, it becomes extremely hard and costly to eliminate. The infected region produces fewer crops, and the cost of sorting and additional control measures will affect the overall production of fruit and vegetables. Some countries have in effect quarantines to prevent the spread of the Mediterranean fruit fly[16].

The Mediterranean fruit fly can be found in many locations around the world. Because of the Medfly’s tolerance to many weather conditions, infestations have occurred in seven continents. Here are some of the specific countries that have infestations. In Africa: Algeria, Botswana, Cape Verde, Congo, Congo Democratic Republic, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, and still many more. In Asia: Israel, Jordan, Cyprus, Turkey, Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. In Europe: Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Russia, and Portugal are just a few places infected. In South America: Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Paraguay. In Central America and the Caribbean: Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Panama, and Nicaragua are only about half of the countries that have had infestations[16]. Western Australia also has shown areas of infection. In the United States, the Medfly has infected four states: Hawaii, California, Texas, and Florida. However Hawaii is the only state that still has a major infestation[17].

Pest Control

Agricultural application of pesticide.

If control methods weren't used, the Mediterranean fruit fly, also called medfly, would infest 100% of fruit, such as apricots, nectarines, peaches, mandarins, apples, and pears, etc.[5].The females attack the fruit by piercing the skin of a ripe or ripening fruit. When they do this, they lay 3 to 14 eggs. The females usually lay their eggs in apple, apricot, citrus, cherry, mango, pear, peach, plum, olive, and guava. After two days the eggs hatch into larvae and the larvae suck the juice out of the fruit.[6]

There are two control methods that people use to keep down the population of the medfly. One of those methods is foliage baiting which is used to control the adult medfly. When you do foliage baiting its a bait and you want to put it in the center of the tree not on the top or the bottom. You don't want to put it anywhere else on the fruit. If u do it doesn't harm you. You want to do this early in the morning not any other time. The reason foliage baiting is so efficient is because the medfly's like protein and the foliage baiting provides more protein then the fruit so the medfly tends to not go to the fruit but the bait.[7].The other method is cover spraying this is used to also keep down on the adult medfiy but it also keeps down on the eggs and larvae as well.[8]. Another way to keep down on the pest control of the medfly is to set out a lot of traps. The traps haven't shown any sign that it is a good control method but people still use it. What u do is set out a bunch of traps and attempt to catch them before they can reproduce.[9]. Fruit that you get from any state or country has most likely been checked for the medfly. If it hasn't checked out then that is bad because that's how the medfly ends up in different places. So people need to be careful when checking fruit so this doesn't happen. [10].

References

  1. Mediterranean Fruit Fly Everything about. Web. 1 November 2012 (Date-of-Access)
  2. Ceratitis capitata (mediterranean fruit fly) Invasive Species Compendium. Web. 24 October 2012 (Date-of-Publication)
  3. Mau, Ronald F.L. Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) EXTension ENTOmology & UH-CTAHR Integrated Pest Management Program, University of Hawaii. Web. Last Updated April 2007
  4. Thomas, Michael C. [1] Mediterranean fruit fly. Web. Date-of-publication July 2001
  5. USDA NASS. [2] Mediterranean fruit fly. Web. Date-of-access 8/27/12
  6. [3] Mediterranean fruit fly action plan. Web. Date-of-publication or access (specify which)
  7. Mediterranean Fruit Fly. web. 1 November 2012 (Date-of-access).
  8. Anne Dawson, Sarah Hassenpflug, James Sloan. California Agricultural Trade: Combating the Medfly Menace Institute for Trade & Commercial Diplomacy. Web. 14, October 2012(date of access).
  9. James W. Vaupel,Pablo Liedo,Hans Georg Muller,James R. Carey,Jane-Ling Wang. Dual Modes of Aging in Mediterranean Fruit Fly Females American Association for the Advancement of Science. Web. 14 August 1998(date of publication).
  10. Thomas, M.C. Heppner, J.B. Woodruff, R.E. Weems, H.V. and Steck, G.J. Mediterranean fruit fly - Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) University of Florida IFAS Extension . Web. September 2010 (Date-of-publication).
  11. Midges Flies and Mosquitoes: Diptera - Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata): Species Accounts. Web. 14, October 2012 (Date-of-access)
  12. Mediterranean Fruit Fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Insecta: Diptera: Tephritidae). Web. 14, October 2012 (Date-of-access)
  13. Mediterranean Fruit Fly. Web. 14, October 2012 (Date-of-access)
  14. Ingentaconnect Predation of the Mediterranean Fruit Fly. Web. 14, October 2012 (Date-of-access)
  15. 15.0 15.1 MedFly - One Bad Bug ufl.edu. Web. 14, October 2012 (Date-of-access)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Thomas, M.C. Heppner, J.B. Woodruff, R.E. Weems, H.V. and Steck, G.J. Mediterranean fruit fly - Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) Mediterranean Fruit Fly. Web. September 2010 (Date-of-publication)
  17. Ceratitis capitata . Web. 12, October 2012 (Date-of-access)

Read more: Midges Flies and Mosquitoes: Diptera - Mediterranean Fruit Fly (ceratitis Capitata): Species Accounts - Males, Hundred, Eggs, and Larvae - JRank Articles http://animals.jrank.org/pages/2502/Flies-Midges-Mosquitoes-Diptera-MEDITERRANEAN-FRUIT-FLY-Ceratitis-capitata-SPECIES-ACCOUNTS.html#ixzz29KxuVO6Q