Mediterranean Fruit Fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae)
The Mediterranean fruit fly (medfly) belongs to the tribe Ceratitidini of the sub-family Dacinae, and is the most well-known of the 65 species of the genus Ceratitis. It is highly polyphagous, very widespread (both in tropical and temperate areas), and it is considered one of the most important pests for world fruit production.
Origin and Geographical Distribution
The Mediterranean fruit fly was first described in 1824 by Wiedemann, when he analyzed a specimen collected aboard a ship in the Indian Ocean that was transporting fruits from Africa. Most of the studies suggest that this insect is native to tropical Africa, originating from areas south of the Sahara desert. This suggestion is supported by recent genetic studies. It is believed that the fly invaded first the Mediterranean basin either by dispersing along the valley of the Nile and then following the Middle East coastline, or by reaching Spain from the North Western coast of Africa and Gibraltar. From Spain, where it was first...
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