Apple maggot

Apple maggot

Rhagoletis pomonella (Walsh)

Diptera: Tephritidae

Adults are black flies with three (males) or four (females) white cross bands on the abdomen, a prominent white spot at the posterior end of the thorax, and the wings are marked with black bands in the shape of an "F" (A). The cream-colored eggs are laid singly under the skin of the fruit. The larva is a milky white, legless maggot without a distinct head but with a pointed front tip (B).

  • Damage

    Attacks apple mainly; may be found in European plum, pear, and cherry. On the surface of the fruit, oviposition causes punctures that appear as small reddish spots (C), which are sometimes accompanied by a white deposit. The larva digs brownish trails (D) in the flesh of the fruit.


    Sticky red sphere or yellow board traps can be used for monitoring of adults to detect potentially damaging numbers; intensive trapping to reduce numbers to acceptable levels may be practical in small plantings. Remove unsprayed apple trees within 100 m. Apply protective insecticides, if necessary, in mid- and late summer.

    Crops Affected

    • Apples
    • Cherries
    • Pears
    • Plums
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