- Worldwide. In Australia and most Pacific island countries.
- Minor pest of brassica, cucurbit, legume, potato, grass families. Also breeds in decaying organic matter. Major hosts: beans, cabbages, cauliflowers, melon, orange, sorghum (causes ‘deadhearts’), and tomato.
- Maggots do the damage, but presence does not mean they are the cause.
- Eggs laid under calyx of fruit, in cracks, grooves, or rots caused by physical damage and those of other insects. Maggots white, 4-6 mm long. Pupae dark orange-red. Adults yellowish-grey fly, squarish head, up to 4 mm long, wingspan 3 mm, dark thorax and yellow abdomen.
- Natural enemies: pupal parasitoids.
- Biosecurity: regulated pest in New Zealand.
- Cultural control: avoid use of chicken manure as flies may use it to breed.
- Chemical control: not recommended, but if needed use neem.
Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides
Pepper fruit fly (416)
Pepper fruit fly; it is also known as the tomato fruit fly.
AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from CABI (2017) Atherigona orientalis (pepper fruit fly) Crop Protection Compendium. (https://www.cabi.org/cpc/datasheet/7731); and from Hibbard KL et al. (2012) Pepper Fruit Fly Atherigona orientalis (Schiner) (Insecta: Diptera: Muscidae). Entomology and Nematology Department, Featured Creatures. UF/IFAS, University of Florida. (https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/IN/IN94800.pdf). Photos 1-3 MAF Plant Health & Environment Laboratory (2011) Pepper Fruit Fly (Atherigona orientalis). PaDIL - http://www.padil.gov.au.
Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.