Ceratitis capitata


The Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) or the Mediterranean Fruit fly, is the world’s most destructive fruit pests. Basically, these species originated in sub-Saharan Africa and isn’t known to be built up in the United States.

In recent years these species are detected in California, Florida, and Texas, every infestation required escalated and huge destruction and detection procedures so that these pests did not become established.

In view of its wide distribution across the world, its capacity to tolerate the cooler atmospheres better as compare to other species of the tropical fruit flies, and its extensive variety of hosts, it is positioned first among economically important Fruit fly species.


Its larvae develop and feed on numerous deciduous, tropical fruits and some vegetables. In spite of the fact that it might be a major pest of citrus, often Ceratitis is a more serious pest of some deciduous fruits, for example, apple, peach, and pear.

The larvae of these species feed on the pulp of fruits, and it is also observed that larvae start tunneling through it and as a result reducing the whole to juice, inedible mass. In some Mediterranean countries, only the early citrus varieties are grown.


Common NameMediterranean fruit fly
Scientific NameCeratitis capitata
SynonymsCeratitis hispanica Breme
,Ceratitis citripeda Efflatoun
,Pardalaspis asparagi Bezzi

Vernacular Names

  •  English: Ceratitis
  •  Tajik: Капитатсия
  •  Greek: Ceratitis capitata
  •  Japanese: Ceratitis capitata
  •  Russian: Ceratitis capitata


The Mediterranean fruit flies oldest population can be traced back to the Tropics of Africa in Ethiopian biogeographical region.

Ceratitis Species are native to both Palearctic and the Ethiopian regions. The presented population has since been found in the majority of the biogeographic areas.

The circulation of fresh fruit air (either incidentally or commercially) has increased tremendously the risk of accidental introduction of this species into other parts of the world, many strong efforts have been made to prevent the spread of this species.

Ecology and Habitat of Ceratitis

These species in their native home range are found in the forests, at the coast, open woodland in the highland areas and dunes. The dispersal of these species are across the suboptimal habitats, for example, areas where woody vegetation is in a large amount, it is possible because of their ability to exploit the plant in dry habitats and to migrate over one continent to other continents.

Ceratitis capitata

Ceratitis can be found in agricultural lands because large quantities of food are provided at this place. You can find these species anywhere because they are widespread and you may even find them from sea level to the mountainous area of 2,133 m in elevation.


Most of the time c.capitata information is related to its behavior that deals with the reproduction, That way it is reported in the section of reproduction.

This fruit flies mostly sit inactively, they just stay in the same area as long as the food is presented to them. These species can be dispersed with the wind at least a mile (1.6 km).

Home Ranges

Information related to the home range sizes for Mediterranean fruit fly is very little known. However, there is some territoriality in which male fruit flies claim their mating territories on the individual leaves.

Communication and Perception

Male medflies utilize chemical, acoustic, visual, and behavioral (e.g. wing waving) motions in their sexual communication with females. See the “Reproduction: Mating Systems” for data on both male-female and male-male (checking of leaves with a chemical to stake out mating ground an area) correspondence.

In addition to these correspondence pathways, it is likely that some tactile communication happens at the mating itself.

Food Habits

The Mediterranean fruit fly is polyphagous species. This implies that they can feed on the widest variety of host fruits. More than 200 types of vegetables and fruits have been recorded as hosts for this parasite.

These species consume fruits of following plants such as Cucurbitaceae, Anacardiaceae, Loganiaceae, Oleaceae, Meliaceae, Rosaceae, Rubiaceae, Solanaceae, and Sapotaceae. Although the preferences differ geographically, slightly hard, ripe, thin-skinned, and succulent fruits are more desirable.

Mosca de la fruta

Larval (immature) and Adult (Mature) stages of these species are different in their feeding habits. As it is mentioned under “Development”, The larvae eat their way through the fleshy hot fruit. At this immature stage, the nutrition is very essential and it will determine the size of adult, development time and the percentage of larvae that emerge.

Through studies, it is known that diets that contain a high percentage of sucrose and glucose lead to better development as compared to those that contain a high percentage of maltose or starch concentrations.

on the other hand, adult medflies need the carbohydrates from the juices of fruits that are ripe and also protein from the bird feces and decomposing fruit. The adult Fruit flies usually feed in the mid-morning and the late afternoon.

The adult medflies also prefer the fruit that contains the more nutritive value. such as the lower portions of papaya and orange fruits contains the bulk of nutrition. if these species are placed at the top of fruit then a medfly will move to the lower part.

On the other hand, if flies are placed on the lower part of the fruit then they will remain there to feed.


The Mediterranean fruit flies have no clear structure or behavior that we can specifically relate to the defense against the predators.

Medflies are connected by numerous parasitoid wasps. A few wasps, (for example, Diachasmimorpha tryoni and Diachasmimorpha longicaudata) are capable of hearing the hatchlings eating their way through the fruit. The wasp utilizes its ovipositor to infuse an egg into the parasite.

During the Fly transformation in the development stage, the wasp larva usually eats its host.

Numerous generalist predators of bugs, for example, spiders, ants, mantids, and professional killer bugs also attack the fruit flies. Birds, including chickens, will attack the larvae as they rise up out of fruit, and some dirt nematodes attack the larvae as the pupate and tunnel.

Known Predators

spiders (Araneae)
Diachasmimorpha longicaudata
some ants (Family: Formicidae)
roundworms (Nematoda)
Diachasmimorpha tryoni
chickens (Gallus gallus)

Ecosystem Roles

In the Natural habitat, these Ceratitis are parasitic on the host plants, however, they are sometimes not harmful to plant populaces. They may lessen seed dispersal by ruining the fruit, yet they don’t really counteract seed germination. They are prey for a wide assortment of bug predators and parasites.

They are considerably more critical in the insect predators and the parasites.

These flies are very significant in the agricultural ecosystems where these flies are very dangerous for the crops of fruits

Crops used as Host

• Solanaceae
• Anacardiaceae.
• Rosaceae
• Loganiaceae
• Oleaceae
• Meliaceae
• Podocarpaceae
• Rubiaceae
• Sapotaceae
• Cucurbitaceae

Conservation Status

These species are found in a very large amount around the world, therefore, it is not considered to be in conservation.

Since C. capitata has such a negative effect on the agricultural areas of word therefore for people are doing a search to control it.

A critical step in restricting crop harm that is caused by the medflies is field sanitation.

It is also involved in destroying the infested and unmarketable fruits, burying these fruits under the one-meter soil with a lime to kill any larvae that is present in the fruit.

people also reduce the food sources such as keeping the rip fruit quantity minimum and the weekly harvesting is also helpful.

In more severe areas where the infestation is worse advance techniques are used to eliminate the medflies.


Fun Facts about Ceratitis

Fun Facts about Ceratitis


Awais Ahmed

Awais Ahmed

An IT(Information Technology) graduate from Bahria University Islamabad, I started my carrier as a Freelance in the year 2016 and have worked as a Blogger and Content Creator at various organizations. Currently working as a Content Creator at Tapedaily. Staying updated and writing research-based content related to Plants, Animals, and various kingdoms are my key interest.

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