An official website of the United States government.

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar.

This site is also protected by an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate that’s been signed by the U.S. government. The https:// means all transmitted data is encrypted — in other words, any information or browsing history that you provide is transmitted securely.

Mexican Fruit Fly

View all resources
Mexican fruit fly
Mexican Fruit Fly - In grapefruit as well as many other fruits, one female Mexican fruit fly can deposit large numbers of eggs: up to 40 eggs at a time, 100 or more a day, and about 2,000 over her life span - Jack Dykinga, USDA. Agricultural Research Serv
Scientific Name: 
Anastrepha ludens (Loew, 1873) (ITIS)
Synonym: 
Anastrepha lathana, Trypeta ludens (ITIS)
Common Name: 
Mexican fruit fly, Mexfly
Native To: 
Mexico and Central America (Flitters and Messenger 1965)
Date of U.S. Introduction: 
First observed as a winter migrant in southern Texas in 1903, with infestations occurring beginning in 1927; it was first discovered outside of its usual range in 1954 (Flitters and Messenger 1965)
Means of Introduction: 
Migrates into southern Texas from Mexico; may be introduced to other areas through the movement of infested fruit (Aluja 1994; Thomas 2004)
Impact: 
Larvae attack at least 60 varieties of fruit, particularly citrus and mangoes (Thomas 2004)

Spotlights

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: www.aphis.usda.gov/ppa-projects.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is working with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to combat the Mexican fruit fly (Anastrepha ludens) in Cameron and Willacy Counties in Texas. Following the detection of this pest in Cameron and Willacy Counties in January 2020, APHIS put quarantines in place to contain this fruit fly and is conducting surveys to find and treat infestations. Mexican fruit fly is one of the world's most destructive invasive pests, attacking more than 40 different kinds of fruits and vegetables. This invasive fruit fly does not harm humans or animals but it poses a serious threat to the Texas citrus industry.

APHIS needs the public's help to limit this invasive fruit fly's spread. We are asking residents living or working within Mexican fruit fly quarantine areas to cooperate with survey teams and give them access to your property. Surveyors will have official credentials identifying them as U.S. Department of Agriculture or TDA employees. With the residents' permission, they will inspect fruit trees on residential properties in quarantine zones and hang traps. If APHIS or TDA detect Mexican fruit flies, they will work with residents and business owners to eradicate the pest from infested properties.

If you live in the Lower Rio Grande Valley and think you might have Mexican fruit flies on your property, please call APHIS at 956-421-4041. With your help, we can protect local agriculture and stop the spread of this destructive pest.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

USDA. APHIS. Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey. National Agricultural Pest Information System.

Federally Regulated

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

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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

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).

Images

University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.
Australian Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre. Pests and Diseases Image Library.

Videos

Google. YouTube; United States Department of Agriculture.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Mexican Fruit Fly.

Partnership

USDA. APHIS. PPQ. CPHST. Identification Technology Program.

European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.

Texas Citrus Pest and Disease Management Corporation.
Texas State University System. Texas Invasive Species Institute.
Federal Government
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

State and Local Government

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

Texas Department of Agriculture.

California Department of Food and Agriculture. Plant Health Division. Pest Detection/Emergency Projects Branch.
Academic
University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.
Electronic Data Information Source Publication #ENY201
Professional

Pest Fruit Flies of the World.

Version: Dec 8, 2006; using DELTA format (DEscription Language for TAxonomy) is a flexible method for encoding taxonomic descriptions for computer processing.

Citations