An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

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
Image use policy

Male medfly resting on a leaf


Scott Bauer, USDA. Agricultural Research Service, Photo Unit

Find more images


  • USDA Protects Hundreds of Crops from Invasive Fruit Flies with Five-Year Strategy

    • Apr 17, 2024
    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has released Fruit Fly Exclusion and Detection Program Fiscal Years 2024-2028 Strategy [PDF, 1.2 MB]. APHIS worked with members of the National Plant Board to develop a unified roadmap for USDA and its partners to protect American agriculture from the threat of invasive fruit flies and measure our progress along the way.
      See also: Exotic Fruit Flies for more information

  • USDA Protects Fruit, Vegetable and Livestock Producers with Emergency Funding to Address Exotic Fruit Fly and New World Screwworm Outbreaks

    • Dec 15, 2023
    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is using emergency funding to respond to the threats associated with growing outbreaks of exotic fruit flies and New World screwworm. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack approved the transfer of $213.3 million from the Commodity Credit Corporation to APHIS to directly support emergency response efforts domestically and internationally to protect fruit, vegetable and livestock industries and producers.

      "Increasing our response efforts to exotic fruit fly and New World screwworm outbreaks is critical to minimizing their potential impact on our nation’s agriculture and trade," said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. "This funding will enable us to swiftly prevent both populations’ further spread before they become established and harder to eradicate."

  • 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.

  • History Highlight: APHISBattles 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


  • Medfly Quarantine in Portion of Los Angeles County

    • Oct 23, 2023
    • California Department of Agriculture.

    • A portion of Los Angeles County has been placed under quarantine for the Mediterranean fruit fly following the detection of two wild flies in the Leimert Park neighborhood in the City of Los Angeles. The USDA, the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner, and California Department of Agriculture are working collaboratively on this project.

      Under International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) standards, Ceratitis capitata  is a transient pest under eradication that is present only in one area in California.  This species is not widely distributed and is under official control in the U.S.

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.