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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


  • 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.

  • USDA Provides more than $70 Million in Fiscal Year 2021 to Protect Agriculture and Natural Resources from Plant Pests and Diseases

    • Jan 5, 2021
    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating more than $70 million to support 383 projects under the Plant Protection Act’s Section 7721 program to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, threat mitigation, to safeguard the nursery production system and to respond to plant pest emergencies. Universities, states, federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofits, and Tribal organizations will carry out selected projects in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

      The fiscal year 2021 project list includes 29 projects funded through the National Clean Plant Network (NCPN). The NCPN helps our country maintain the infrastructure necessary to ensure that pathogen-free, disease-free and pest-free certified planting materials for fruit trees, grapes, berries, citrus, hops, sweet potatoes, and roses are available to U.S. specialty crop producers. In FY 2021, funded projects include, among others:

      • Asian giant hornet research and eradication efforts: $944,116 in Washington and other states;
      • Exotic fruit fly survey and detection: $5,575,000 in Florida and California;
      • Agriculture detector dog teams: $4,287,097 to programs in California, Florida, and nationally to support detector dog teams;
      • Honey bee and pollinator health: $1,337,819 to protect honey bees, bumble bees and other important pollinators from harmful pests;
      • Phytophthora ramorum (sudden oak death pathogen) and related species: $513,497 in 14 states and nationally for survey, diagnostics, mitigation, probability modeling, genetic analysis, and outreach;

      USDA will use $14 million to rapidly respond to invasive pest emergencies should a pest of high economic consequence be found in the United States. Learn more about the Plant Protection Act, Section 7721 on the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) website.

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.