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<em>Rhagoletis indifferens</em>

Rhagoletis indifferens

Western cherry fruit fly
Previous scientific names: Rhagoletis cingulata, Rhagoletis cingulata indifferens


Morphological – adult

Overall body colour predominantly black with yellow scutellum. Abdomen with pale/white transverse bands. Rhagoletis species are diagnosed primarily on wing patterns.

The wing of R. indifferens possesses a broad singular dark fuscous band from anterior margin to hind margin in centre of wing, an inverted ‘U’-shaped dark fuscous pattern across apex and a dark fuscous spot across apex of R4+5.

Note that this species is highly similarly in appearance to R. cingulata (refer to similar species for differences).

Morphological – larvae

Information not available.


DNA barcoding

BOLD reference 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

Rhagoletis indifferens has been recorded on hosts from the Rosaceae family (for a full list of recorded hosts see CABI 2007).

Major commercial hosts:

  • Prunus avium (sweet cherry)


Rhagoletis indifferens is a western North American species (Canada and USA).

Similar species

Rhagoletis indifferens is similar to R. cingulata in wing pattern but the anterior arm of R. indifferens is broken to produce an apical spot in only about 5% of individuals in contrast to R. cingulata, in which this spot is much more commonly encountered. In addition, other characters that distinguish R. indifferens from R. cingulata are as follows:

Rhagoletis indifferens:

  • Apical yellow shading on posterior margin of tergite 5 of male lacking.
  • Black shading always present on posterior surface of fore coxa
  • Epandrium dark-coloured

Rhagoletis cingulata:

  • Apical yellow shading on posterior margin of tergite 5 of male present
  • Fore coxae concolorous yellow
  • Epandrium light-coloured

Most individuals of R. indifferens may be distinguished from those of R. chionanthi and R. osmanthi by the differences in geographical distribution and hosts and by the generally smaller size and lesser development of the wing bands (Foote et al. 1993).

Additional information:

Rhagoletis indifferens may not be a distinct species but a colour variety of Rhagoletis cingulata. It is distributed primarily over western regions of mainland USA where it infests wild and cultivated cherries of the plant genus Prunus (pers. comm. Drew 2010).

Pest Status

  • Exotic
  • Rhagoletis indifferens is an important pest of cherries in North America


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