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Mediterranean Fruit Fly

Scientific Name

Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann, 1824) (ITIS)

Common Name

Mediterranean fruit fly, Medfly


Ceratitis citriperda (MacLeay), Ceratitis hispanica (De Brême), Paradalaspis asparagi (Bezzi), Tephritis capitata (Wiedemann) (ITIS)

Native To

Sub-Saharan Africa (Silva et al. 2003)

Date of U.S. Introduction

1910 (Hawaii); infestations in the continental U.S. began in 1929 (APHIS 2003; Silva et al. 2003)

Means of Introduction

Usually through imported fruit and other crops infested with fruit fly larvae (Silva et al. 2003)


Attacks over 200 species of fruits and vegetables (APHIS 2003)

Mediterranean fruit fly

Male medfly resting on a leaf


Scott Bauer, USDA. Agricultural Research Service, Photo Unit

Find more images


  • A Nuclear Technique Averts a Fruit Fly Emergency in Mexico

    • Jun 17, 2022
    • UN. Food and Agriculture Organization.

    • In the Mexican state of Colima, a recent outbreak of the Mediterranean fruit fly, also known as medfly, was very bad news. This voracious pest was eradicated in Mexico in the 1980s with the help of FAO and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), but insects know no borders. And unfortunately, with climate change, increase of trade and global travel favouring the spread of pests, they have once more found their way into this horticulturally important state, threatening to wreak havoc on the industry and on the livelihoods of farmers. Thankfully, Mexico, FAO and the IAEA had prepared for just a scenario.

  • APHIS Establishes Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata) Quarantine Area in San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties, California

    • Dec 7, 2021
    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • Effective November 16, 2021, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) established a Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) quarantine area in San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties, California. APHIS is applying safeguarding measures and restrictions on the interstate movement or entry into foreign trade of regulated articles from this area. This action is in response to the CDFA’s confirmation of a mature, unmated female Medfly on October 25, and a subsequently confirmed male Medfly on November 9 from Jackson traps placed in backyard citrus trees in residential areas of Upland, California. There are 15.75 acres of commercial agricultural production in the quarantine area. Currently, the quarantine area encompasses 95 square miles.

  • History Highlight: APHIS Battles Mediterranean Fruit Fly

    • May 16, 2022
    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • The Medfly is one of the world’s most destructive pests, attacking over 200 fruits and vegetables. In June 1980, it was discovered in two highly populated urban areas in the Santa Clara Valley of northern California. APHIS and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) began eradication activities within days. However, the overall eradication program lasted more than 27 months—and APHIS and CDFA needed to adjust and adapt their methods along the way to achieve success.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

Federally Regulated

  • Domestic Quarantine Notices (Title 7: Agriculture, Part 301) - Fruit Flies

    • U.S. Government Printing Office. Electronic Code of Federal Regulations.

  • Fruit Flies Quarantine Information

    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • Includes information for Mexican Fruit Fly, Mediterranean Fruit Fly, and Oriental Fruit Fly

  • Hungry Pests - Pest Tracker

    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • See what states have a federal quarantine for any of the targeted Hungry Pests, and identify which pests or diseases are at greatest risk due to a suitable habitat. In addition to federal quarantines, state-level quarantines might apply see State Summaries of Plant Protection Laws and Regulations (National Plant Board).

      See also: The Threat for an overview of the top invasive pest threats; indicates places with Federal Quarantines in place.

  • Import Federal Orders

    • USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

    • A Federal Order is a legal document issued in response to an emergency when the Administrator of APHIS considers it necessary to take regulatory action to protect agriculture or prevent the entry and establishment into the United States of a pest or disease. Federal Orders are effective immediately and contain the specific regulatory requirements.


Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Federal Government
International Government
State and Local Government
  • Exotic Fruit Fly Pests

    • Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Division of Plant Industry.

    • Contains fact sheets and other resources for Mediterranean fruit fly, Mexican fruit fly, and Oriental fruit fly

  • Pest Profile - Mediterranean Fruit Fly

    • California Department of Food and Agriculture. Plant Health Division. Pest Detection/Emergency Projects Branch.