The Tephritidae are one of two fly families referred to as fruit flies, the other family being the Drosophilidae. The head fruit fly pdf hemispherical and usually short. The face is vertical or retreating and the frons is broad. Ocelli and cellar bristles are present.
The postvertical bristles are parallel to divergent. The body varies from white to yellowish or brown. The posterior end of pale-coloured species is sometimes black. The body tapers at the anterior. The two mandibles sometimes have teeth along the ventral margin. The antennomaxillary lobes at each side of the mandibles have several transverse oral ridges or short laminae directed posteriorly. The larvae of almost all Tephritidae are phytophagous.
Females deposit eggs in living, healthy plant tissue using their telescopic ovipositors. Here, the larvae find their food upon emerging. The behavioral ecology of tephritid fruit flies is of great interest to biologists. Some fruit flies have extensive mating rituals or territorial displays. Many are brightly colored and visually showy. Adult tephritid fruit flies are often found on the host plant and feeding on pollen, nectar, rotting plant debris, or honeydew.
Natural enemies include the Diapriidae and the Braconidae. Tephritid fruit flies are of major economic importance in agriculture. Some have negative effects, some positive. Various species of fruit flies cause damage to fruit and other plant crops. The genus Bactrocera is of worldwide notoriety for its destructive impact on agriculture. Some fruit flies are used as agents of biological control, thereby reducing the populations of pest species. 1994 Fruit Flies of Economic Significance: their Identification and Bionomics.
Keys to World genera Out of date but still the only world monograph. Die Fliegen der palaearktischen Region 5, 49, 1-221. Paris: Éditions Faune de France 28. Keys to Palaearctic species but now needs revision. Smith, 1989 An introduction to the immature stages of British Flies.