Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Upcoming Events

See Moth submissions from National Moth Week 2023

Photos of insects and people from the 2022 BugGuide gathering in New Mexico, July 20-24

Photos of insects and people from the Spring 2021 gathering in Louisiana, April 28-May 2

Photos of insects and people from the 2019 gathering in Louisiana, July 25-27

Photos of insects and people from the 2018 gathering in Virginia, July 27-29

Photos of insects and people from the 2015 gathering in Wisconsin, July 10-12

Previous events


Species Anastrepha ludens - Mexican Fruit Fly

Mexican Fruit Fly, side view - Anastrepha ludens - male Mexican Fruit Fly, group - Anastrepha ludens - male - female Anastrepha ludens - female Tephritid Fly ? - Anastrepha ludens - female Possible drosophila? - Anastrepha ludens Anastrepha ludens? - Anastrepha ludens - female Anastrepha ludens? - Anastrepha ludens - female Fly - Anastrepha ludens - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Diptera (Flies)
No Taxon ("Acalyptratae")
Superfamily Tephritoidea
Family Tephritidae (Fruit Flies)
Subfamily Trypetinae
Tribe Toxotrypanini
Genus Anastrepha
Species ludens (Mexican Fruit Fly)
Other Common Names
Explanation of Names
Anastrepha ludens (Loew 1873)
7-11 mm, ovipositor 3.35–4.7 mm(1)
Notable for the female's long ovipositor and sheath relative to its body size(1)
Eyes are beautiful iridescent green with other colors appearing depending on the angle and intensity of light. Body is mostly yellowish; dorsal surface of thorax browner with longitudinal yellow stripes. Wings marbled with yellowish bands.
native to Mesoamerica; adventive in our area (s US: southmost Texas only as of 2012, historical records from CA and FL)(1)
Mainly agricultural, but anywhere with fruit trees
All varieties of citrus except lemons and sour limes are attacked. Grapefruit is the preferred host, with oranges second. Pear, peach and apple are preferred among deciduous hosts. Full list of hosts(1)
Life Cycle
Adult females may be very long-lived, up to 11 months, and highly fecund, laying 1,500 eggs or more. Males appear to be able to survive as long as 16 months.(1) Eggs hatch in 6-12 days. Larval stage lives in fruit pulp and lasts 3-4 weeks, leaving fruit to pupate in soil.
earliest record in our area: TX 1927(1)
USDA releases sterile flies to maintain "fly-free zones" in Texas, Mexico, and California. Sterile flies have an orange/pink dye spot on their forehead.
Internet References
Fact sheet (Weems et al. 2012)(1)