Skip to content
<em>Anastrepha ludens</em>

Anastrepha ludens

Mexican fruit fly
Previous scientific names: Trypeta ludens Loew, Acrotoxa ludens Loew, Trypeta (Acrotoxa) ludens Osten Sacken, Anastrepha lathana Stone


Morphological – adult

A species in the fraterculus-group.

Features include:

  • frons without brown markings except ocellar tubercle
  • mesonotum with three pale postsutural vittae
  • scutum posteriorly without brown markings or with only a single medial brown spot on scuto-scutellar suture, without brown vittae
  • scutellum entirely yellow or with dark markings only on extreme base of disk
  • subscutellum entirely yellow to orange, or yellow to red-brown medially, dark brown laterally
  • mediotergite yellow to red-brown medially, dark brown laterally, or entirely yellow
  • wing with typical Anastrepha pattern (S-band complete or at most interrupted at crossvein r-m, C-band and at least proximal arm of V-band present), C-band and S-band connected or separated, V-band proximal arm as dark as apical half of S band, not connected anteriorly to S band, V band distal arm complete and connected to proximal arm of V-band (often faintly)
  • abdominal tergites without brown markings
  • oviscape length 3.1 – 6.3 mm; aculeus 2.9 – 5.8 mm; aculeus tip length 0.28 – 0.42 mm
  • aculeus tip width 0.12 – 0.14 mm; lateral margins of aculeus tip not curved dorsally.

Morphological – larvae

Information not available.


DNA barcoding

BOLD reference data available, but cannot be distinguished from A. fraterculus, A. distincta, A. obliqua or A. suspensa.



BsrI: Does not cut

HinfI: 550

HhaI: Does not cut

Sau3AI: Does not cut

SnaBI: Does not cut

SspI: Does not cut

Vspl: 550

Approximate ITS1 fragment length – gel: 650 bp.


There are no fully diagnostic restriction enzymes for A. ludens.

HinfI will distinguish the group A. ludens and A. suspensa, species which cannot be distinguished from each other.

Host Range

Anastrepha ludens has been recorded on hosts from a wide range of families. These include:

  • Anacardiaceae
  • Annonaceae
  • Caricaceae
  • Clusiaceae
  • Ebenaceae
  • Lauraceae
  • Lythraceae
  • Myrtaceae
  • Passifloraceae
  • Rosaceae
  • Rubiaceae
  • Rutaceae
  • Sapotaceae

For a full list of recorded hosts see CABI 2007.

Major commercial hosts:

  • Annona cherimola (cherimoya)
  • Mangifera indica (mango)
  • Citrus species
  • Prunus persica (peach)

(UF and FDACS 2009; CABI 2007)


Texas, United States, south through Mexico to Costa Rica (Foote et al. 1993).

Similar species

Anastrepha suspensa and A. fraterculus are similar to A. ludens, but differ in possessing a much shorter aculeus and an aculeus tip with more prominent lateral serrations.

A. ludens usually has a pair of lateral dark spots on the subscutellum that typically extend ventrally onto the mediotergite. The V-band is usually not connected to the S-band and is faint anteriorly in most specimens (Foote et al. 1993).

A. ludens is a well-defined and clearly distinct species, although there is a possibility of a separate but nearly indistinguishable form in the extreme southern part of its distribution in Costa Rica (UF and FDACS 2009).

Pest Status

  • Exotic
  • Identified as a high priority pest in the Biosecurity Plan for the Citrus Industry
  • Anastrepha ludens is serious pest of Citrus species and mangoes


No known record, but can be captured in traps emitting ammonia.