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Anastrepha serpentina (Wiedemann)

Anastrepha serpentina female dorsal habitus, drawing (32512 bytes) Anastrepha serpentina wing, photo
Female head, thorax and abdomen, dorsal. Wing.

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Anastrepha serpentina is one of the species of the serpentina group with a hyaline area in cell br posterior to the pterostigma that is not extended to vein R4+5. It differs from the other species with this character in having the abdomen mostly brown with a T-shaped medial yellow area and the distal section of the S-band slender, at apex of vein R2+3 less than 0.45 times width of cell r2+3. Within the serpentina group, a similar abdominal pattern occurs only in A. pulchra Stone, and elsewhere Anastrepha, only in A. shannoni of the grandis group and some species of the daciformis group, particularly A. macrura Hendel and A. zucchii Norrbom. Other useful diagnostic characters include: orbital plate sometimes with triangular brown mark; thorax mostly dark brown; wing bands mostly dark brown; C- and S-bands connected; distal arm of V-band absent; and aculeus tip 0.37-0.46 mm long, 0.14-0.17 mm wide, finely serrate on more than distal half.

The third stage larva was included in the key of Steck et al. (1990).

Classification and Evolutionary Relationships
Order: Diptera. Family: Tephritidae. Subfamily: Trypetinae. Genus: Anastrepha. Species: serpentina. Author: Wiedemann.
Relationships among the species of Anastrepha were analyzed by Norrbom et al. (1999b) and McPheron et al. (1999). Click here for more detailed discussion of Anastrepha phylogeny. Anastrepha serpentina has been placed in the serpentina species group. Norrbom (2002) analyzed the relationships among the species of the serpentina group (see Phylogeny of the Anastrepha serpentina group), and considered A. serpentina to be most closely related to the clade A. pulchella Norrbom + A. pulchra Stone + A. anomoiae Norrbom.

Names Used for this Species
Dacus serpentinus Wiedemann 1830: 521.
Leptoxys serpentina: Macquart 1843: 373.
Trypeta serpentina: Loew 1873: 226.
Acrotoxa serpentina: Loew 1873: 227.
Anastrepha serpentina: Schiner 1868: 263.
Urophora vittithorax Macquart 1851: 259. Synonymy (Loew 1873: 227).
Anastrepha serfentinus Foote 1965: 673. Misspelling of serpentina Wiedemann.
sapote fruit fly
serpentine fruit fly
Click here for more detailed synonymy
Click here to link to fly names database

Type data
Dacus serpentinus: Lectotype (designated by Norrbom 2002: 423) - Male (Naturhistorisches Museum, Wien (NMW)), Brazil. Wiedemann's extensive description of the wing and abdominal patterns leaves little doubt about the identity of this species. He indicated that his specimens (number unstated) were female, from Brazil, and deposited in his collection, which was later sold to Winthem and then to the NMW. Loew (1873: 227) examined what he called "Wiedemann's original specimen", but did not mention its sex. Stone (1942) stated that there was a female holotype in the NMW, apparently based on Wiedemann's and Loew's statements; he did not examine this purported specimen or otherwise confirm its existence. Norrbom (2002) reported no extant female syntypes of serpentinus in the NMW, and based on the body length given by Wiedemann, argued that the sex stated in the original description was erroneous. The male lectotype has a slightly greenish label with "serpentinus Wied. Brasil" in Wiedemann's writing and a label with "serpentinus Coll. Wiedem." Another NMW male and a third sent to the USNM in an exchange probably also were Wiedemann specimens. The USNM male has labels with "69", "Dacus serpentinus Wied", "Brasilia Coll. Winthem", "Type" (red), "Cotype No. 51251 U.S.N.M." (orange), "This specimen is one of the original 3 types of Wiedemann", and "From Vienna Museum in exchange 1935 C.T.G." The latter two are in C.T. Greene's writing. The second NMW male has labels with "Brasilia", "serpentinus Coll. Winthem", "Dacus serpentinus Wied Brasilia", and "serpentinus det. Löw". The writing on the latter two labels somewhat resembles the upper sample of Loew's labels in Horne & Kahle (1935-37). Presumably this is the specimen he examined. The "Coll. Winthem" and "Coll. Wiedem." labels were added when these collections were incorporated into the NMW. The "Brasilia" label on the NMW male and the determination label on the USNM male appear to be in the same writing. The labels on the above specimens, especially the determination label in Wiedemann's writing, suggest that his statement about the sex of the types was erroneous, or that he at least had some male specimens. The former is supported by the fact that although his description of serpentinus was fairly extensive, he did not mention the "Legegrissel" or "Grissel", his name for the ovipositor, as he did in most descriptions of tephritid species under Trypeta or Dacus that were based on female specimens. He also said that the length was 3.5 lines (approximately 7.3 mm), which is extremely small for a female of serpentina when the ovipositor is included in the overall length as Wiedemann did (e.g., see his description of Dacus parallelus, 1830: 515). The three putative syntype males are, however, approximately this length, 7.5 mm long. Besides having Wiedemann's determination label, of the three specimens, the lectotype also most closely fits Wiedemann's description in having the first abdominal tergite (syntergite 1+2) yellow posteriorly; the margin is discolored by underlying tissues in the other two males. 
Urophora vittithorax: Lectotype (designated by Norrbom 2002: 423) - Female (University Museum, Oxford University (UMO)), "l'Inde" [India; error, possibly Trinidad]. Macquart described this species from an unstated number of female specimens belonging to Bigot. The lectotype, in the Bigot Collection (UMO), is a female of A. serpentina with a label with “Urophora vittithorax [female symbol] Macq. n. sp.” in Macquart's writing and “Oxyna (Bigot)” in Collin’s writing, glued to a Bigot drawer label with “? D. Ex. nom” [= named in Dipteres Exotiques] in Bigot's writing. Except for missing one wing, the specimen is in good condition. Loew (1873) correctly guessed the identity of this species from Macquart's extensive description and accurate wing illustration (Tab. 26, fig. 11). As Loew noted, India, the type locality given by Macquart, is incorrect, but possibly refers to the West Indies; this species is endemic to the New World, and does occur in Trinidad and Curacao. Stone (1942) referred to the “holotype” in the Bigot Collection, but did not examine the specimen, so his statement was not a lectotype designation by inference of holotype.

Anastrepha serpentina is one of the most widely distributed species of Anastrepha. It occurs from northern Mexico south to Peru and northern Argentina, and is also known from Trinidad & Tobago and Curaçao. There are sporadic trap records from southern Texas (USA) (e.g., 8 specimens in the Rio Grande Valley during 1995-98), but it is questionable whether A. serpentina has breeding populations there (D. B. Thomas, pers. comm.). The record from Dominica (Stone 1942), based on specimens (in USNM) intercepted in New York, is doubtful; A. serpentina was not collected in an extensive trapping survey of Dominica and Saint Lucia during 1988-90 (Ambrose 1991).
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Anastrepha serpentina has been reported to attack the fruits of various native and introduced species of plants, but especially various Sapotaceae. The reported field hosts include 45 species belonging to 28 genera and 17 families. Of the 18 genera and 29 species that are native hosts, five genera (including Chrysophyllum, Manilkara, Micropholis, Pouteria, and Sideroxylon) and 15 species belong to the Sapotaceae. See Norrbom (in press) for additional host data. See Aluja et al. (1999) and included references for information about the behavior of this species.

Economic Significance
Anastrepha serpentina is an important pest in the American tropics and subtropics, especially of sapotaceous fruits, although it has also been reported to attack mango, several species of Citrus, apple, peach and quince. It is considered a pest of quarantine significance by USDA-APHIS-PPQ and many other regulatory agencies.  The main damage is caused by the larvae, which feed inside the fruit.

Key references are listed below. See fruit fly literature database for additional references.
Aluja, M., J. Piñero, I. Jácome, F. Díaz-Fleischer & J. Sivinski. 1999. Behavior of flies in the genus Anastrepha (Trypetinae: Toxotrypanini), p. 375-406. In M. Aluja & A. L. Norrbom, eds., Fruit flies (Tephritidae): Phylogeny and evolution of behavior. CRC Press, Boca Raton. [16] + 944 p.
Ambrose, E. C. 1991. Report on fruit fly surveys in Dominica and St Lucia. IICA, Saint Lucia. Unpublished report. 20 p.
Baker, A. C., W. E. Stone, C. C. Plummer & M. McPhail. 1944. A review of studies on the Mexican fruitfly and related Mexican species. U. S. Dep. Agric. Misc. Publ. 531: 155 p. [p. 115, 125, larva, male and female terminalia, hosts, Mexico]
Burgers, A. C. J. 1953. Studies on the fauna of Curacao and other Caribbean islands: No. 21. The fruitfly Anastrepha serpentina in Curacao. Naturwet. Stud. Suriname, the Hague No. 8: 149-153.
Caraballo, J. 1981. Las moscas de frutas del genero Anastrepha Schiner, 1868 (Diptera: Tephritidae) de Venezuela. M.S. thesis, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Maracay. 210 pp. [p. 52, redescription in Spanish, hosts, Venezuela, in key]
Foote, R. H., F. L. Blanc & A. L. Norrbom. 1993. Handbook of the fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) of America north of Mexico. Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca. xii + 571 p. [p. 105, taxonomy, USA]
Greene, C. T. 1934. A revision of the genus Anastrepha based on a study of the wings and on the length of the ovipositor sheath (Diptera: Trypetidae). Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 36: 127-179. [p. 142, taxonomy]
Hernández-Ortiz, V. 1992. El genero Anastrepha Schiner en Mexico (Diptera: Tephritidae). Taxonomia, distribucion y sus plantas huespedes. Instituto de Ecología and Sociedad Mexicana de Entomología, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. 162 p. [p. 89, Mexico]
Korytkowski, C. & D. Ojeda Peña. 1968. Especies del genero Anastrepha Schiner 1868 en el nor-oeste peruano. Rev. Peru. Entomol. 11: 32-70. [p. 49, Peru]
Lima, A. M. da Costa. 1934. Moscas de frutas do genero Anastrepha Schiner, 1868 (Diptera: Trypetidae). Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz 28: 487-575. [p. 494, taxonomy, hosts, Brazil]
Loew, H. 1873. Monographs of the Diptera of North America. Part III. Smithson. Misc. Collect. 11 (3 [= pub. 256]): vii + 351 + XIII p. [p. 227, redescription, type data, classification]
Macquart, J. P. M. 1843. Dipteres exotiques nouveaux ou peu connus [2(3)]. Memoires de la Societe Imperial des Sciences de l'Agriculture et des Arts de Lille 1842: 162-460 + 36 pls.
Macquart, J. P. M. 1851. Dipteres exotiques nouveaux ou peu connus. Suite du 4e supplement. Mem. Soc. Natl. Sci. Agric. Arts, Lille 1850: 134-282 (text), 283-294 (explanation of figs., index) + pls. 15-28. [p. 259, description as vittithorax]
Malavasi, A. & R. A. Zucchi, eds. 2000. Moscas-das-frutas de importância econômica no Brasil. Conhecimento básico e aplicado. Holos, Riberão Preto. 327 p. [Brazil]
McPheron, B. A., H.-Y. Han, J. G. Silva & A. L. Norrbom. 1999. Phylogeny of the genera Anastrepha and Toxotrypana (Trypetinae: Toxotrypanini) based upon 16S rRNA mitochondrial DNA sequences, p. 343-361. In M. Aluja & A. L. Norrbom, eds., Fruit flies (Tephritidae): Phylogeny and evolution of behavior. CRC Press, Boca Raton. [16] + 944 p. [phylogeny]
Morgante, J. S., A. Malavasi & G. L. Bush. 1980. Biochemical systematics and evolutionary relationships of neotropical Anastrepha. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 73: 622-630.  [p. 623, isozymes]
Norrbom, A. L. 2002. A revision of the Anastrepha serpentina species group (Diptera: Tephritidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 104: 390-436. [p. 420, revision, lectotype designation]
Norrbom, A. L. Host plant database for Anastrepha and Toxotrypana (Diptera: Tephritidae: Toxotrypanini). Diptera Data Dissemination Disc 2 (in press). [host database]
Norrbom, A. L., L. E. Carroll, F. C. Thompson, I. M. White & A. Freidberg. 1999a. Systematic database of names, pp. 65-251. In F. C. Thompson (ed.), Fruit Fly Expert Identification System and Systematic Information Database. Myia (1998) 9, vii + 524 pp. & Diptera Data Dissemination Disk (CD-ROM) (1998) 1. [p. 82, in catalog]
Norrbom, A. L., R. A. Zucchi & V. Hernández-Ortiz. 1999b. Phylogeny of the genera Anastrepha and Toxotrypana (Trypetinae: Toxotrypanini) based on morphology, p. 299-342. In M. Aluja & A. L. Norrbom, eds., Fruit flies (Tephritidae): Phylogeny and evolution of behavior. CRC Press, Boca Raton. [16] + 944 p. [phylogeny]
Phillips, V. T. 1946. The biology and identification of trypetid larvae (Diptera: Trypetidae). Mem. Am. Entomol. Soc. 12: [ii] + 161 + xvi p. [p. 33, 107, larva, host list]
Selivon, D. & A. L. P. Perondini. 1999. Description of Anastrepha sororcula and A. serpentina (Diptera: Tephritidae) eggs. Fla. Entomol. 82: 347-353. [p. 350, egg]
Solferini, V. N. & J. S. Morgante. 1987. Karyotype study of eight species of Anastrepha (Diptera: Tephritidae). Caryologia 40: 229-241. [p. 236, karyotype]
Solferini, V. N. & J. S. Morgante. 1990. X1X1X2X2:X1X2Y mechanism of sex determination in Anastrepha bistrigata and A. serpentina (Diptera: Tephritidae). Rev. Bras. Genet. 13: 201-208. [p.  201, karyotype]
Steck, G. J., L. E. Carroll, H. Celedonio-Hurtado & J. Guillen-Aguilar. 1990. Methods for identification of Anastrepha larvae (Diptera: Tephritidae), and key to 13 species. Proc. Entomol. Soc. Wash. 92: 333-346. [p. 344, in larval key]
Steyskal, G. C. 1977. Pictorial Key to Species of the Genus Anastrepha (Diptera: Tephritidae). Entomological Society of America, Washington, D.C. 35 pp. [p. 8, in key]
Stone, A. 1942. The fruitflies of the genus Anastrepha. U. S. Dept. Agric. Misc. Publ. No. 439, 112 pp. [p. 27, revision]
Tigrero, J. O. 1998. Revisión de especies de moscas de la fruta presentes en el Ecuador. Published by the author, Sangolquí, Ecuador. 55 p. [Ecuador]
Weems, H. V., Jr. 1969. Anastrepha serpentina (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry, Entomology Circular 91: 2 p.
White, I. M. & M. M. Elson-Harris. 1992. Fruit flies of economic significance: Their identification and bionomics. CAB International, Wallingford, 601 p. [p. 152, taxonomy, pest status, larva]
Wiedemann, C. R. W. 1830. Aussereuropaische zweiflugelige Insekten. Vol. 2. Schulz, Hamm. xii + 684 p. [p. 521, description]

Featured Creatures, University of Florida and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
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Content by Allen L. Norrbom. Last Updated: January 20, 2003.