Mediterranean fruit fly

Med`i*ter*ra"ne*an fruit" fly

(?), n. A small two-winged fly (Ceratitis capitata), a native of the Mediterranean countries but now widely distributed in warm regions, which can cause great damage to citrus and other succulent fruit crops when present in large numbers. It is black and white and irregularly banded. It lays eggs in ripening oranges, peaches, and other fruits; when the eggs hatch into larvae (maggots) inside the fruit, they cause the fruit to decay and fall, and make the fruit unsaleable. It is also popularly called the medfly. The possibility of infestation by this and other crop pests has caused some states such as California, where fruit is a major export, to ban the importation of fruit from other regions. Outbreaks of infestation with the medfly have caused California to mobilize major eradication campaigns and have been the subject of political faultfinding. The eradication tactic, of releasing sterile males to break the reproductive cycle, has been used to deal with outbreaks of the medfly.
[PJC]

 

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Sun 16th December 2018