EPPO Alert ListZaprionus tuberculatus (Diptera: Drosophilidae)



Following a proposal made by the French NPPO, the EPPO Panel on Phytosanitary Measures considered that two invasive drosophilids, Zaprionus indianus and Z. tuberculatus should be added to EPPO the Alert List. Z. tuberculatus is an invasive species originating from tropical Africa which has recently been found in the EPPO region. Although, its pest status on fruit crops has not been ascertained, the spread of this species might represent a risk to the EPPO region.


EPPO region: Cyprus, Egypt, Greece (Crete), Israel, Italy, Malta, Spain (Islas Canarias only), Romania, Turkey.
Africa: Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Congo (Democratic republic), Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Réunion, Saint Helena, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Zaprionus tuberculatus 
Courtesy: lsv.anses (FR)


On which plants

According to the literature Z. tuberculatus has successfully been reared on 49 different species of tropical fruit, including: Artocarpus sp., Dacryodes sp., Detarium senegalense, Ficus lutea, Ficus mucuso, Ficus natalensis, Ficus saussureana, Ficus sur, Gambeya taiensis, Guarea cedrata, Hirtella sp., Parinari excelsa, Santiria trimera, Spondias mombin, Tieghemella heckelii, Uncaria sp. In the EPPO region, as most specimens were caught in traps, no direct association with plants has been documented. For example, traps were placed in a deciduous wood near Trento in Italy, and in Rubus caesius bushes in a urban area near Bucharest city in Romania. In Turkey, captures were made in urban or semiurban environments or forest areas.



As in the case for most drosophilids, Z. tuberculatus is a secondary pest which infests overripe, fallen, or rotting fruit. In its native range, it is not reported as a pest. In its invaded range, for the moment it seems that no reports of damage have been made, but as for Z. indianus, it cannot be excluded that it might cause damage to fig (Ficus carica) production.
Pictures of the insect can be viewed on the Internet:



There are no study on the potential for spread of Z. tuberculatus. Over short distances adults can fly, and as for Z. indianus, movement of infested fruits is likely to transport Z. tuberculatus over long distances.



Fruit of host plants from countries where Z. tuberculatus occurs.


Possible risks

As very little is known about its biology and ecology, it is difficult to evaluate the pest potential of Z. tuberculatus to healthy fruit species. However, its association with other primary pests (such as Drosophila suzukii as observed in Romania), could contribute to enhance the negative impacts of those pests on fruit crops. It seems wise to pay more attention to the spread of Z. tuberculatus within the EPPO region and gather more information about its potential pest status.


Baez M, Ortega G (1979-1980) Notas taxonomicas y ecologicas sobre el genero Zaprionus (Diptera Drosophilidae) en las Islas Canarias. Bulletin de l'Institut Scientifique Rabat no 4, 87-94.
Chireceanu C, Teodoru A, Chiriloaie A (2015) The first detection of fruit fly Zaprionus tuberculatus Malloch (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in the eastern part of Europe (Romania). Analele Universității din Craiova - Biologie, Horticultura, Tehnologia Prelucrarii Produselor Agricole, Ingineria Mediului 20, 377-382.
Ebejer MJ (2015) A short note on additional records of fruitfly (Diptera, Drosophilidae) from Malta. Bulletin of the Entomological Society of Malta 7, p 143.

Leivadaras J, Leivadara EI, Vontas J (2017) A new insect, drosophila Zaprionus tuberculatus (Diptera: Drosophilidae), affects the figs on Crete. Abstract of a paper presented at the Panhellenic Entomological Congress (Athens, GR, 2017-09-19/22), p 27.
NPPO of Cyprus (2017-03).
Patlar B, Koc B, Yilmaz M, Ozsoy ED (2012) First records of Zaprionus tuberculatus (Diptera: Drosophilidae) from the Mediterranean Region, Turkey. Drosophila Information Service 95, 94-96.
Raspi A, Grassi A, Benelli G (2014) Zaprionus tuberculatus (Diptera Drosophilidae) first records from the European mainland. Bulletin of Insectology 67(1), 157-160.
Yazzin A, David JR (2010) Revision of the Afrotropical species of Zaprionus (Diptera, Drosophilidae), with descriptions of two new species and notes on internal reproductive structures and immature stages. ZooKeys 51, 33-72.


EPPO RS 2014/107, 2016/207, 2017/081, 2018/152

Entry date 2016-11