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<em>Anastrepha curvicauda</em>

Anastrepha curvicauda

Papaya fruit fly
Previous scientific names: Toxotrypana curvicauda: Mikimyia furcifera Bigot


Morphological – adult

The papaya fruit fly, Anastrepha curvicauda (syn. Toxotrypana curvicauda*), is a very distinctive species commonly mistaken as a wasp due to its morphology and behaviour. Overall colouration is yellow and black, with females possessing a very long and slender abdomen and a curved ovipositor that is longer than the body. Male flies are similar in appearance to females, but less markedly banded and lacking an ovipositor. Overall body length ranges from 8.5 – 12.5 mm; ovipositor length from 9 – 14 mm.

*The fruit fly genus Toxotrypana has been synonymised with Anastrepha

Morphological – larvae

Larvae are white and the typical fruit fly shape (cylindrical-maggot-shape, elongate, with the anterior end narrowed and somewhat recurved ventrally, with anterior mouth hooks, ventral fusiform areas and flattened caudal end).

Papaya fruit fly larvae possess large anterior spiracles, 13 – 15 narrow buccal carinae, a lack of prominent tubercles on the caudal end of the larva, and a bifid anal elevation. These characters distinguish A. curvicauda from other tephritid larvae.


DNA barcoding

Data not available.


BsrI: Data not available

HinfI: Data not available

HhaI: Data not available

Sau3AI: Data not available

SnaBI: Data not available

SspI: Data not available

Vspl: Data not available


Data not available.

Host Range

Although originally considered to be monophagous, infesting only wild and cultivated papaya, this species has also been reported on mango and milkweed in Florida, and other plant species in Mexico.


The papaya fruit fly is distributed throughout the Caribbean, particularly in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad, Cuba and the Bahamas.

It is also found in Nicaragua, Central America (Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama) and northern South America (Columbia, Venezuela).

In North America, the fly is restricted to peninsular Florida, southern Texas and Mexico.

Similar species

Anastrepha curvicauda may initially be confused with other members of genus Anastrepha; online keys are available.

All members of this genus are exotic to Australia, however, and are readily distinguished from other fruit fly genera (e.g. Bactrocera, Zeugodacus, Dacus).

Pest Status

  • Exotic
  • Significant pest of papaya in the circum-Caribbean area
  • Known to attack mango in Florida on rare occasions, but this is not a typical host plant


Data not available.