Dacus ciliatus

Dacus ciliatus Loew

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Holometabola, Diptera, Brachycera, Tephritidae.

Common name: Cucurbit fly, lesser pumpkin fly, Ethiopian fruit fly.

Geographical distribution: Africa, south-east Asia; in Israel since the early 1990s. CIE map #323.

Morphology A brown-orange colored species with yellow spots at the anterior shoulders of the thorax and posteriorly, near the abdomen. The wings ornamented with an expanded anterior dark-brown band. Fully-grown maggots are about 10 mm long.

Host plants: Cucurbits, including cucumber, gourd, melon, pumpkin, water melon and others.

Life history: The pest requires 2-3 weeks to complete a generation at 28°C. The eggs, in clusters of 5-10, are inserted into the host-fruit, within which the larvae develop. Pupation takes place in the soil and the emerging adults need a few days to reach sexual maturity. Each female deposits about 200 eggs after a single, prolonged mating that takes places in the dark. The fly is not attracted to cue lure, methyl eugenol or to vert lure.

Economic importance: The cucurbit fly is an important pest of edible cucurbits, whose current importance is mainly due to its being a quarantine pest in Europe, Japan and North America.


Chemical control: Pyrethroids are very effective, as are the neonicotinoids. Organophosphates have little effect on the pest.


El-Nahal, A.K.M., Azab, A.K. and Swailem, S.M. 1970. Studies on the biology of the melon fly, Dacus ciliatus Loew. Bulletin of the Entomological Society of Egypt 54: 243-247.

Maklakov, A., Ishaaya, I., Freidberg, A., Yawetz, A., Horowitz, A.R. and Yarom, I. 2001. Toxicological studies of organophosphate and pyrethroid insecticides for controlling the fruit fly Dacus ciliatus (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 94: 1059-1066.

White, I.M. and Elson-Harris, M.M. 1992. Fruit Flies of Economic Significance: Their Identification and Bionomics. ACIAR, Wallingford, UK.

Yarom, I., Malihi, Y., Svechkov, A., Freidberg, A., Horowitz, A.R. and Ishaaya, I. 1997. Biology and chemical control of Dacus ciliatus. Phytoparasitica 25:165.

Websites: https://www.google.co.il/search?q=dacus+ciliatus+images&biw=1536&bih=836&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CB8QsARqFQoTCPjqqeea08gCFcXSGgodYicO6w