The Mediterranean fruit fly, ceratitis capitata, is a serious pest affecting a wide range of commercial fruit crops and is one of the most widespread members of its family (tephritidae).
Despite the name, it’s original natural habitat is western Africa, but with time it migrated to regions such as the Mediterranean, northern and southern America, Australia, France, Russia, and other parts of Europe.
Damage to fruit is caused by the female when she lays her eggs under the fruit’s peel. Within three to four days, maggots emerge and start feeding on fruit pulp. Within five to six days, they punch a hole, and fall to the ground were they usually pupate. Within nine days, the adult emerges and becomes sexually mature after one week.
It’s rapid ability to penetrate and invade new regions forced countries to recognize it to be a quarantine pest (“a pest of potential economic importance to the area endangered thereby and not yet present there, or present but not widely distributed and being officially controlled.”)