Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera

Mediterranean Fruit Fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae)

  • Nikos T. Papadopoulos
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_1774

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...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Carey JR (1991) Establishment of the Mediterranean fruit fly in California. Science 253:1369–1373PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Katsoyannos BI, Heath RR, Papadopoulos NT, Epsky ND, Hendrichs J (1999) Field evaluation of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) female selective attractants for the use in monitoring, mass trapping and sterile insect technique. J Econ Entomol 92:583–589Google Scholar
  3. Liquido NJ, Shinoda LA, Cunningham RT (1991) Host plants of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Deptera: Tephritidae): an annotated world review. Miscellaneous Publication 77. Entomological Society of America, Lanham, MDGoogle Scholar
  4. Mitchell AC, Saul SH (1990) Current control methods for the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata, and their application in the USA. Rev Agric Entomol 78:923–940Google Scholar
  5. Papadopoulos NT, Carey JR, Katsoyannos BI, Kouloussis NA (1996) Overwintering of Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae) in northern Greece. Ann Entomol Soc Am 89:526–534Google Scholar
  6. Papadopoulos NT, Katsoyannos BI, Carey JR, Kouloussis NA (2001) Seasonal and annual occurrence of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) in northern Greece. Ann Entomol Soc Am 94:41–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. White IM, Elson-Harris MM (1992) Fruit flies of economic significance: their identification and bionomics. CAB International, WallingfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikos T. Papadopoulos
    • 1
  1. 1.Aristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece