The Lifecycle of the Queensland Fruit Fly

 

As with most insects, there are four stages in the life cycle: eggs, larva, pupa and the adult fly.

 

1. Egg - white in colour and banana shaped. Eggs are unlikely to be seen by house holders.

 

2. Larva (maggots) - soon after the eggs have been laid within the fruit, they hatch and a small maggot emerges from each. As the maggot feeds, it increases in size. It has cutting jaws which help it to tear off pieces of the fruit small enough for it to swallow. Maggots tend to eat toward the centre of the fruit. This promotes rotting of the fruit, although it may appear to be in good condition from the outside. As the maggot completes its growth, it chews its way out of the fruit (which by then, has usually fallen) and burrows into the soil.

 

3. Pupa - in the soil, larvae become inactive and change into an oval, brown, hard pupa.

 

4. Adult fly - the fly develops within the pupa and then bursts open the pupal case and tries to find a food source. After feeding, the flies mate, and each female then searches for ripening fruit, which she punctures and lays her eggs in. The punctures (‘stings’) made by the female fly are very small and can usually only be recognised by an experienced person.

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