Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Fruit Fly on a piece of Water Melon

These are also archived images, which I have not posted before, as I needed the time to review them, and try to work out what I had seen and photographed. To explain, these images were taken on a piece of Water Melon, on my bird feeder (when there were no birds in attendance, obviously. These images were taken on 12 April 2010.

I could tell that it was a Fly, (single pair of wings, not double wings; and prominent short, sharp antennae on the front of the face). That's what I look for, anyway, in trying to start working out insects.
  1. So, "tick" Fly.
  2. It was on a piece of fruit, so, I immediately suspect a "Fruit Fly".
Having lived most of my life in Canberra, (which is not really a Fruit Fly area) I am not familiar with Fruit Flies. They probably are in Canberra, they are not really problematic there.

So, I did a Google Image Search for "Fruit Fly + Australia". OK some likely looking things pop up there.

Lets look for the "Melon Fly" - it seems to have the right shaped wings.
Melon Fly

The detailed description there seems to fit, But I am far from being an expert.
"Number of pale whitish to yellow postsutural stripes three. Subscutellum uniformly brown."
Then the description of the wing venation comes into play: "Wings with crossvein r-m covered by short, diffuse infuscation, or covered by short, well-defined infuscation; crossvein dm-cu covered by a major crossband which reaches posterior margin of wing."

My photos are OK, but not really good enough for me to trace out the veins in the wings. All I can say is that the wing structure looks "similar" between my image and this linked image.

The AQIS (Quarantine) site says: "Melon fly (Bactrocera cucurbitae) mainly affects plants such as cucumbers, pumpkins, rockmelons, squash, watermelons, but also chillies, green beans, mangoes, papayas, tomatoes, citrus and stone fruits.

"It has a worldwide distribution including China, India, Hawaii, Japan, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Taiwan and Thailand. It is occasionally detected on islands in the Torres Strait but is not established in Australia."

I conclude that my fly on a Melon is in all probability not a Melon Fly, but something with the same sweet taste-buds.

Any Fruit Fly experts are welcome to offer advice on the ID of my Fruit Fly.

peonyden (at) bigpond (dot) com.


Flabmeister said...

Your point about fruit fly not being a problem in Canberra is unfortunately a tad optimistic. I had never seen them there before last Summer but we then found some tomatoes with holes in them, and a mass of white wrigglers in the fruit. Most distasteful.

A columnist in one of our local papers described a similar infestation as being Queensland fruit flies. Apparently they were encouraged by the warm and wet season. So add one more nail to the coffin caused by climate change!


Denis Wilson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denis Wilson said...

Hi Martin
Thanks for that update on my information re Canberra (region) Fruit Fly status.
Re the Queensland Fruit Fly, it seems to have patches of yellow on its thorax, which are not visible on mine. Also mine has those 3 lines on the abdomen.
Check out the images on the following site.

Le Loup said...

Hoping you are right and this is a local species!!! Needs further investigation though.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Le Loup
I will see if I can track down an expert.