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Fruit Fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) Introduced Species
(Invasive Species and Biological Control Agents)
At least 47 species of Tephritidae have been spread intentionally or accidentally by man beyond their natural ranges. The figures provided in the following Tables are undoubtedly underestimates; there are other widespread species that may have been spread by man, but the above figure includes only those for which there is strong historical or other evidence. The Australasian and Nearctic Regions have the most tephritid species introduced from other regions, in part because they have the most intentionally introduced species. The Palearctic, Nearctic and Australasian Regions have the most accidentally introduced species. The Palearctic and Neotropical Regions have been the largest sources of species introduced to other regions for weed biocontrol, and the Palearctic and Oriental Regions have been the largest sources of species accidentally introduced to other parts of the world.
No species have been intentionally established in other regions from the Oriental or Australasian Regions. They have a relatively depauperate fauna of Tephritinae species, which predominantly breed in Asteraceae and have been the focus of most biocontrol efforts involving fruit flies. No species have been spread to other regions from the Australasian Region.
Table of species of Tephritidae spread by man, by biogeographic region. Only currently established species included. *Some of those species spread within regions also introduced to other regions. Modified from Norrbom et al. (1999), Table 5.
|No. of Species
Spread within Region
|No. of Species Introduced from Other Regions|
|Accidentally Introduced||Intentionally Introduced||Total|
Table of species of Tephritidae spread by man, by biogeographic region of origin. Only currently established species included. Modified from Norrbom et al. (1999), Table 5.
|No. of Species Spread to Other Regions|
Species that have spread beyond their natural ranges or that have been released in other areas are listed below by genus in alphabetical order. Refer to White & Elson-Harris (1992) and Foote et al. (1993) for references if not stated below. Also see the Economic Importance section for discussion of tephritids as biological control agents.
Acinia picturata, native to North and South America, was introduced for weed biocontrol to Hawaii and accidentally to several other Pacific islands.
Anastrepha fraterculus, a probable complex of species native to much of the Neotropics, was introduced but eradicated in Chile (Enkerlin et al. 1989), and also introduced to the Galapagos Islands (Harper et al. 1989). Anastrepha ludens was believed by Baker et al. (1944) to be native only to northeastern Mexico, and they considered its presence south to Costa Rica due to spread by man. Its range and hosts in Costa Rica have expanded since the mid 1990s, possibly as the result of an introduction from more nothern populations, and it has recently been detected in western Panama. An introduction to California was eradicated. Anastrepha obliqua, a widespread neotropical species, is invasive in most of the Lesser Antilles. It was established in southern Florida (Key West) from 1931-1937 (McAlister 1936), but there is no evidence of a breeding population being present since then (Steck 2001). It has been trapped in California, but is not established there. Reports of its introduction to Bermuda were erroneous (Woodley & Hilburn 1994). Anastrepha serpentina and A. striata, which also are widespread neotropical species, have been trapped in California, but are not established there. Anastrepha suspensa, native to the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas, was introduced to Florida in 1965. An earlier introduction in the 1930's did not survive (Weems 1965, 1966).
Bactrocera carambolae, native to the Oriental Region, was introduced in Surinam prior to 1975 and has spread to French Guiana, Guyana and northern Brazil (Amapá) (Sauers-Muller 1991, Drew & Hancock 1994, Food & Agriculture Organization 1994, Carambola Fruit Fly Programme Website). Bactrocera correcta, native to the Oriental Region, has been trapped in California, but is not established there. Bactrocera cucurbitae, probably native to the Oriental Region, has been introduced to East Africa, Mauritius, the Ryukyu Islands of Japan, New Guinea and nearby islands, Guam and Hawaii (Munro 1984, Hooper & Drew 1989, Kakinohana 1994). It has recently been detected in West Africa in Gambia (I. M. White, pers. comm.). Hardy & Foote (1989) also list northern Australia in its range, but it does not occur there (Drew 1982, D.L. Hancock, pers. comm.). It has been eradicated from some islands of Japan (Koyama 1989), and has been trapped occassionally in California, but is not established there. Bactrocera dorsalis, also native to the Oriental Region, has been introduced to Hawaii, Guam, Nauru, and Mauritius. It was eradicated from the Ryukyu Islands of Japan (Drew & Hancock 1994) and the Northern Mariana Islands, and was introduced, but eradicated in California. It is not present in Australia as was once reported (Drew 1976, Drew & Hardy 1981). Bactrocera frauenfeldi has been introduced into northern Australia from New Guinea (Drew 1976, Hooper & Drew 1989). Bactrocera latifrons, native to the Oriental Region, was introduced into Hawaii (E.J. Harris 1989). Bactrocera oleae was considered by Munro (1984) to be native to Africa and spread to the Mediterranean area and Canary Islands with cultivated olives. It also now occurs in India and Pakistan and was recently introduced to California (first detected in 2000). Bactrocera papayae, another native of the Oriental Region and perhaps the western Australasian Region (Indonesia: Maluku), was introduced to Indonesia (Irian Jaya), Papua New Guinea, and northern Queensland, Australia (Allwood 1995); it has been eradicated from Australia (Hancock et al. 2000). Bactrocera tryoni, native to Australia, has been spread to New Guinea, New Caledonia, Austral Islands, and Society Islands. It has been eradicated from Easter Island and Western Australia (Hooper & Drew 1989, Fisher 1994), and it has been trapped in California, but is not established there. Bactrocera zonata, native to the Oriental Region, has been introduced to the Middle East (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Oman), Mauritius (I. M. White, Identification of Peach Fruit Fly, Bactrocera zonata (Saunders), in The Eastern Mediterranean), and Reunion, where it was introduced in 2000 (I.M. White, pers. comm.; earlier reports from there were based on misidentifications, D.L. Hancock, pers. comm.). It has been trapped but is not established in California. In 2003 an unidentified species of the B. dorsalis complex presumed to be of Asian origin was discovered in Keyna and Tanzania (Lux et al. 2003, Mwatawala et al. 2004), where it has become a serious pest of mango.
Carpomya pardalina, native to the Middle East and western Oriental Region, has recently been spread to Turkmenistan.
Cecidochares connexa, native to Central and South America, has been introduced to Indonesia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, and Palau for control of the weed Chromolaena odorata and is being tested for release in the Philippines and Guam (Esguerra 2002, McFadyen 2002, Tjitrosemito 1998, 2002, Wilson & Widayanto 1998, 2002).
Ceratitella tomentosa, native to the Oriental Region, was released in Trinidad for weed biocontrol, but is not established.
Ceratitis malgassa was reported from Puerto Rico by Steyskal (1982), but it has not been found since then and apparently is not established. Ceratitis capitata, native to tropical Africa, is now one of the most widely distributed fruit flies. It is established in the Mediterranean area, southern Africa, various islands of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, western Australia, Hawaii, Central America, and much of South America (Metcalf 1995, De Meyer 2000). It was once widely established in eastern Australia, but has not been collected there since 1931 (Permkam & Hancock 1995). It has been introduced and eradicated in southern Mexico (Hendrichs et al. 1983), northern Chile, and the United States (various times in Florida, Texas, and northern California). It has also been introduced and eradicated from southern California multiple times, although Carey (1991, 1995) suggested that some populations considered the result of separate infestations might have instead been due to persistent, low levels of this species). The population in Bermuda is extirpated (Woodley & Hilburn 1994). Considerable recent molecular research has focused on differentiating the geographic populations of C. capitata and determining the pathways of its spread (McPheron et al. 1995, Bonizzoni et al. 2001, Gasperi et al. 2002, Meixner et al. 2002). Ceratitis rosa, also native to tropical Africa, was introduced to Mauritius and Reunion (De Meyer 2001: 55).
Chaetorellia acrolophi and C. australis, native to the western Palearctic Region, have recently been successfully introduced to North America for weed biocontrol (Turner 1996). Chaetorellia succinea was accidentally introduced in 1996 and is now widespread in California and Oregon (Villegas 1998).
A specimen of Craspedoxantha marginalis was reported from Switzerland by Merz (1994), but this species does not appear to be established there (B. Merz, pers. comm.).
Dacus ciliatus, native to Africa, has been introduced to the Middle East, southern Asia east to Burma, and to Mauritius (prior to 1901) and Reunion (prior to 1972). Dacus longistylus, from Africa, has been reported from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (Kapoor 1993), but these records are probably all misidentifications of D. persicus (D.L. Hancock, pers. comm.). Dacus bivittatus was trapped in California in 1987, but is not established there.
Dioxyna sororcula is a widespread species in the southern Palearctic, Afrotropical, Oriental and Australasian Regions. Its occurrence in Hawaii, and perhaps other parts of its range, appears to be the result of introduction. Hardy (1988) and Foote et al. (1993) incorrectly considered D. picciola to be a synonym, and D. sororcula does not occur in the Americas.
Dirioxa pornia, which occurs in Australia and New Caledonia, also has been reported from New Zealand, Vanuatu, American Samoa, Fiji, and the Society Islands, but probably based only on erroneous interception records (Permkam & Hancock 1995).
Ensina sonchi, a widespread Palearctic species, has been introduced to tropical Asia, Ethiopia, and Hawaii. Steyskal (1970) reported it from Peru based on his synonymy of other Ensina species with sonchi, but the others appear to be distinct, and sonchi does not occur in the Americas (Norrbom et al. 1999).
Euaresta aequalis was successfully introduced from North America to Australia for weed biocontrol. It also was released, but not established, in Fiji. Euaresta bella, native to North America, was released in eastern Europe for weed biocontrol, but is not established (Turner 1996). Euaresta bullans was accidentally introduced from South America to the United States (California), South Africa, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East. It is now among the most widespread tephritid species.
Eutreta xanthochaeta, native to Mexico and Central America, was successfully introduced to Hawaii for weed biocontrol, and was released but did not establish in Australia and South Africa (Freidberg & Mansell 1995, Turner 1996).
Mesoclanis polana, native to southern Africa, was successfully introduced to Australia in 1996 for biocontrol of Chrysanthemoides monilifera (Edwards et al. 1999), and M. magnipalpis was released in 2000 (see Bitou bush website, Weeds CRC website).
Pediapelta ternaria, native to the Afrotropics, was accidentally introduced into Queensland, Australia (Hancock & Drew 2003: 146).
Procecidochares alani and P. utilis, native to Mexico, were successfully introduced to Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand for weed biocontrol. Procecidochares utilis was also introduced to India, Nepal, South Africa and China (Zhang et al. 1988, Kapoor 1993, Freidberg & Mansell 1995, Turner 1996), and it has also been released in Madeira.
Rhagoletis completa and R. cingulata (misidentifed as indifferens, Norrbom, pers. obs.) have recently been introduced from North America to Italy and Switzerland (Merz 1991, Duso 1991, Ciampolini & Trematerra 1992, Mani et al. 1994), whereas R. meigenii, from the Palearctic Region, was introduced to northeastern North America prior to 1977 (Norrbom et al. 1999). Rhagoletis completa and R. pomonella, another native of North America, extended their ranges to the west coast of the United States (Boyce 1929, Brunner 1987). Rhagoletis conversa, native to Chile, has been reported from Easter Island, but it may not be established.
Tephritis dilacerata, a Palearctic species, has been released in North America for weed biocontrol, but is not established. Tephritis postica, also a Palearctic species, was released in Australia in 1995 and 1997 but did not establish (Turner 1996, Weeds CRC website). Tephritis furcata, described from and reported to date only from Australia, may be an accidentally introduced species (Hancock & Drew 2003: 157).
Terellia fuscicornis and T. ruficauda, both native to the Palearctic Region, were introduced to North America, the former only very recently (in California). Terellia virens, also from the Palearctic Region, was recently successfully introduced to North America for weed biocontrol (Turner 1996).
Tetreuaresta obscuripennis, native to the neotropics, was introduced for weed biocontrol in Hawaii and Fiji. It also now occurs on Tonga and New Caledonia.
Toxotrypana curvicauda, native from the United States (Texas) to Venezuela and the Antilles, was introduced and established in Florida about 1905. A record from India is doubtful (Kapoor 1993).
The following species of Urophora are all native to the Palearctic Region. Urophora affinis, U. cardui, U. quadrifasciata, U. sirunaseva, U. solstitialis, and U. stylata have been introduced to North America for weed biocontrol (Turner et al. 1994, Turner 1996, Wheeler & Stoops 1996, P. Tipping, pers. comm.). Urophora terebrans was released in Australia, and U. solstitialis and U. stylata has been introduced there and in New Zealand for weed biocontrol (Woodburn 1993, Turner 1996, Weeds CRC website). Urophora cardui has also been introduced to New Zealand (Landcare New Zealand website). Urophora stylata was released in South Africa, but is not established (Freidberg & Mansell 1995), but it has been reported from India (Kapoor 1993). Urophora jaceana was accidentally introduced to eastern Canada in 1923 (Shewell 1961), and U. jaculata was released in California for weed biocontrol, but is not established. Urophora quadrifasciata was reported as accidentally introduced to Australia (Hardy & Foote 1989, White & Elson-Harris 1992), but according to Hardy & Drew (1996) and D. L. Hancock (pers. comm.), this species is not established. Two additional species, U. kasachstanica and U. xanthippe, are planned for release in the western United States for control of Russian knapweed (Littlefield et al. 2003).
Xanthaciura connexionis, a nearly circum-Caribbean species, was released in Hawaii for weed biocontrol, but did not establish.
See the Fruit Fly Bibliography Database for full information for cited references.
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Content by Allen L. Norrbom. Last Updated: May 15, 2003.