EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 02 - 1997 Num. article: 1997/40

PCR method to differentiate immature stages of Ceratitis capitata and Anastrepha fraterculus

A PCR method has been developed to differentiate between the immature stages of Ceratitis capitata (EPPO A2 quarantine pest) and Anastrepha fraterculus (EPPO A1 quarantine pest), in Argentina where the two fruit fly species are present. It is recalled that the current status of tephritid taxonomy relies almost exclusively on adult characters, and therefore there is a need to develop methods to identify larval and pupal stages. More than thirty different primers (10-base long commercial random primers) were tested on wild populations of the two fruit flies and on laboratory strains of C. capitata. The results showed that with a single primer or a combination of two, it is possible to differentiate rapidly and reliably between the two fruit fly species, and also between populations of the same species. With this method, as few as 1 insect per assay (mature or immature stage) is needed. The authors concluded that their method could be useful when identification of immature individuals, or of the origin of fruit fly populations is required; e.g. for quarantine purposes or within eradication programs.


Sonvico, A.; Manso, F.; Quesada-Allue, L.A. (1996) Discrimination between the immature stages of Ceratitis capitata and Anastrepha fraterculus (Diptera: Tephritidae) populations by random amplified polymorphic DNA polymerase chain reaction.
Journal of Economic Entomology, 89(5), 1208-1212.