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Tephritidae - Gallflies

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BRACHYCERA, Muscomorpha Schizophora Acalyptratae, Tephritoidea

Number of British species: 75

Size: S-M

Difficulty: 1-2

Scheme: Covered by the Tephritid Recording Scheme


Generally small to medium sized (2.5-10 mm, usually colourful flies, wing often with characteristic markings and vein Sc abruptly bent forward toward the costa at nearly 90�. Arista bare to short pubescent; ocelli present; Ocellar bristles present; Postvertical bristles parallel to diverging; 2-8 pairs of frontal bristles, at least 1but usually several lower pairs curving inward, at least 1of the upper pairs curving backward, in some cases frontal bristles inserted on a raised tubercle; interfrontal setulae most often absent or represented by 1-2 tiny setulae near the lunula; vibrissae absent but several genera with strong bristles near the vibrissal angle. Wing with yellow, brown or black markings or dark coloured with lighter markings; in a few species wing clear; costa with a humeral and a subcostal break; apical part of vein Sc usually less distinct or even transparent and at about a right angle with respect to the basal part; crossvein BM-Cu present; cell cup closed, nearly always narrowing to an acute angle, closed by a geniculate vein CuA2, vein CuA2 rarely straight or convex. Tibiae without dorsal preapical bristle. Female with oviscape, non retractable basal segment of the ovipositor.


The larvae of nearly all Tephritidae are phytophagous. The female uses her telescopic ovipositor to deposit eggs in living, healthy plant tissue. The larvae develop in flowers, seeds, fruits, leaves, stems or roots of their host plant, depending on the species. Some species induce gall-forming. Several species are serious pests in agriculture and horticulture such as the Mediterranean Fruit Fly Ceratitis capitata, others play a role in the biological control of weeds. An exception to the phytophagous lifestyle is Euphranta toxoneura (Loew) with larvae developing in galls formed by sawflies (Hymenoptera: Symphyta). Adult Tephritidae are good fliers. They are often found on the host plant or while feeding on nectar, pollen, plant juices, rotting plant material or honeydew.


Clemons (1996), Clemons (2000), Merz (1994), White (1988), Whittington (2002)

Species added since the publication of Ian White's Handbook (White, 1988) are Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillet), Tephritis matricariae (Loew, 1844), Tephritis divisa Rondani, 1871 and Terellia fuscicornis (Loew, 1844).

families/brachycera/acalyptrates/tephritidae.txt · Last modified: 2009/04/01 17:18 by Laurence Clemons     Back to top
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