Identify and report fruit fly

Fruit fly is a specific type of fly that destroys fruit and fruiting vegetables in commercial crops and home gardens. It is one of the world’s worst fruit pests.

To keep SA fruit fly free we need to know if they are in suburban gardens.

Fruit fly reporting hotline

To report suspected fruit fly, phone the 24 hour Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010.

How do I check for fruit fly in my garden?

You can check for fruit fly by cutting fruit and fruiting vegetables in half to check for maggots. You can also check your fruit for blemishes on the skin (i.e. the fruit has been 'stung' by fruit fly).

Complete the checklist or call the Fruit Fly Hotline on 1300 666 010 if you think you have fruit fly in your garden.

What do fruit fly look like?

Fruit fly larvae (maggots) grow inside fruit:

Fruit fly larvae
Fruit fly larvae, Attribution Creative Commons Licence BY
Fruit fly larvae
Fruit fly larvae, Attribution Creative Commons Licence BY

Queensland fruit fly are about 6-8mm long:

Queensland fruit fly - <i>Bactrocera tryoni</i>
Queensland fruit fly - Bactrocera tryoni, Attribution Creative Commons Licence BY
Queensland fruit fly - <i>Bactrocera tryoni</i>
Queensland fruit fly - Bactrocera tryoni, Attribution Creative Commons Licence BY

Mediterranean fruit fly are about 3-5mm long:

Male Mediterranean fruit fly - <i>Ceratitis capitata</i>
Male Mediterranean fruit fly - Ceratitis capitata, Attribution Creative Commons Licence BY
Female Mediterranean fruit fly - <i>Ceratitis capitata</i>
Female Mediterranean fruit fly - Ceratitis capitata, Attribution Creative Commons Licence BY

Queensland fruit fly (Q-fly)

Scientific name: Bactrocera tryoni 

The native Queensland fruit fly is establsihed in the eastern states, and the Northern Territory.

  • Adults are wasp-like, and are red-brown in colour with yellow marks.
  • Adults are about 6–8 mm long.
  • Larvae (maggots) can grow to between 7–10 mm when mature, and are creamy-white in colour.
  • The Queensland fruit fly can infest a wide range of wild and cultivated plants

Mediterranean fruit fly (Med-fly)

Scientific name: Ceratitis capitata

Mediterranean fruit fly is an introduced species, and is established in parts of Western Australia.

  • Adults are light brown, and abdomen is encircled by two light-coloured rings. They also have mottled wings.
  • The adult fly is 3–5 mm long.
  • Larvae (maggots) grow to about 8 mm long and are white in colour.
  • The med-fly is known to infest over 200 host fruit and vegetables worldwide.

How do fruit fly damage fruit?

Fruit flies damage fruit by causing rots and discolouration, and by laying eggs which release maggots within the fruit.

The female fruit fly pierces the skin of the maturing fruit and lays eggs just below the surface.

Larvae (maggots) can emerge from the eggs just two days later. The larvae feed on the flesh of the fruit, often tunnelling deep, causing the fruit to rot and drop to the ground.

Queensland fruit fly larvae carry bacteria that breakdown the fruit.

Videos about fruit fly free South Australia

Page Last Reviewed: 20 Feb 2020
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