Species of a Brachinter diptera of the Tephritidae family, originally from the west coast of Africa, where very close species live. From there it spread to areas with temperate, subtropical and tropical climates of the two hemispheres. It is considered a cosmopolitan species because of the worldwide dispersion that is currently due to a large extent to the increase in world trade in fruits.
In spite of its origin it is usually called Mediterranean fruit fly, since it is in these Mediterranean countries where its economic impact on crops is higher. It is also sometimes called simply fruit fly.
The duration of the cycle depends on the temperature. The activity is reduced during the winter, which normally passes in a pupal state. If the temperature exceeds 14 ° C, it reactivates. In areas of mild climate, you can complete 6 to 8 annual generations.
The insect at the end of winter, leaves the puparium that is buried in the ground near the trees and looking for a sunny place, 15 minutes after the teguments harden and adopt the typical coloration of the species. Then it begins to fly, since they have then developed wings although their sexual organs still do not.
Make short flights and settle where you find sugary substances, with a predilection for fruits, as they are necessary to reach sexual maturity. The encounter between the male and the female when the male secretes a pheromone that is recognized by the female he attracts and with which he performs the mating.
The fertilized female starts putting in the pulp of the fruit, attracted by the smell and the color (they prefer the yellow and the orange, for that reason the immature fruits do not attract them).
A single copulation in the life of the female is sufficient for the continuous fertilization of all the eggs that are put. If the temperatures are favorable the eggs hatch in about two days.
The larvae feed on the pulp of the fruit in which they produce galleries. Once they complete their larval development, they leave the fruit, and are dropped to the ground where they are buried and pass the pupa stage.
Adult flies have limited expansion capacity, but the global fruit trade is capable of transporting infected fruits thousands of kilometers in a short time, helping to spread them.
Damages in agriculture
In Spain, this species is very widespread, especially in the south and the Mediterranean area. It affects a multitude of cultivated species such as; orange, tangerine, peach, fig, apricot, plum, kaki etc. So its control is difficult since it is very widespread. The only productions that escape their attacks are those obtained from the end of autumn to the beginning of spring since the cold of that time makes the insect show no activity.
The damage produced in the fruit is produced by the larva of this fly that feeds on the pulp of the fruits, leaving all its excrement inside it, besides serving as a contamination channel for different types of fungi, which produce putrefaction, which makes these fruits fall to the ground before time or are not marketable.