Fruit Flies are small to medium sized flies. This species has bright red eyes. When at rest, they often hold their wings outwards like paddles. This fly is larger than the Vinegar Flies which also feed on fruit. The size is 7mm, Fruit Flies can often seen around fruit trees.
Tephritids are small to medium-sized (2.5–10 mm) flies that are often colourful, and usually with pictured wings, the subcostal vein curving forward at a right angle.The head is hemispherical and usually short.The face is vertical or retreating and the frons is broad, Ocelli and cellar bristles are present. The postvertical bristles are parallel to divergent. There are two to eight pairs of frontal bristles (at least one but usually several lower pairs curving inwards and at least one of the upper pairs curving backwards). In some species the frontal bristles are inserted on a raised tubercle. Interfrontal setulae are usually absent or represented by one or two tiny setulae near the lunula. True vibrissae are absent but several genera have strong bristles near the vibrissal angle.The wings usually have yellow, brown or black markings or are dark coloured with lighter markings. In a few species the wings are clear. The costa has both a humeral and a subcostal break. The apical part of the subcostal is usually indistinct or even transparent and at about a right angle with respect to the basal part.crossvein BM-Cu is present the cell cup (posterior cubital cell or anal cell) is closed and nearly always narrowing to an acute angle. It is closed by a geniculate vein (CuA2). The CuA2 vein is rarely straight or convex. The tibiae lack a dorsal preapical bristle. The female has an oviscape.
The larva is amphipneustic (having only the anterior and posterior pairs of spiracle). The body varies from white, to yellowish, or brown. The posterior end of pale coloured species is sometimes black.The body tapers at the anterior. There are two mandibles sometimes with teeth along the ventral margin.The antennomaxillary lobes at each side of the mandibles have several transverse oral ridges or short laminae directed posteriorly. The anterior spiracles (prothoracic spiracles) end bluntly and are not elongated. Each has at least three openings or up to more than 50 arranged transversely in one to three groups or irregularly. Each posterior spiracle (anal spiracle) lacks a clearly defined peritreme and each has three spiracular openings (in mature larvae). These are usually more or less horizontal, parallel and usually bear branched spiracular hairs in four tufts.
Tephritid fruit flies are of major economic importance in agriculture. Some have negative effects, some positive. Various species of fruit fly cause damage to fruit and other plant crops. The genus Bactrocera is of worldwide notoriety for its destructive impact on agriculture. The olive fruit fly (B. oleae), for example, feeds on only one plant: the wild or commercially cultivated olive, Olea europaea. It has the capacity to ruin 100% of an olive crop by damaging the fruit. Euleia heraclei is a pest of celery and parsnip. The genus Anastrepha includes several important pests notably A. grandis, A.ludens, A. obliqua and A. suspensa. Other pests are Strauzia longipennis a pest of sunflowers and Rhagoletis mendax a pest of blueberries.
On the other hand, some fruit flies are used as agents of biological control, thereby reducing the populations of pest species. Several species of the fruit fly genus Urophora are used as control agents against rangeland-destroying noxious weeds such as starthistles and knapweeds, but their effectiveness is questionable. Urophora sirunaseva produces larvae that pupate within a woody gall within the flower and disrupt seed production. Chaetorellia acrolophi is an effective biocontrol agent against knapweeds Chaetorellia australis and Chaetorellia succinea, deposit eggs into the starthistle seedheads, where their larvae consume the seeds and flower ovaries.
Since economically important tephritid fruit flies exist worldwide, there are vast networks of researchers, several international symposia, and intensive activities on various subjects extending from ecology to molecular biology (Tephritid Workers Database).
Pest management techniques applied to tephritids include the sterile insect technique as a part of integrated pest management.