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Species Page

cherry fruit fly

Rhagoletis cingulata
This information is part of a full datasheet available in the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC). Find out more information on how to access the CPC.
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.


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Host plants / species affected

Main hosts

show all species affected
Prunus avium (sweet cherry)
Prunus cerasus (sour cherry)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)

List of symptoms / signs

Fruit - discoloration
Fruit - extensive mould
Fruit - gummosis
Fruit - internal feeding
Fruit - lesions: black or brown
Fruit - lesions: scab or pitting
Fruit - obvious exit hole
Fruit - odour
Fruit - ooze


Attacked fruit will be pitted by oviposition punctures, around which some discoloration usually occurs. Infested fruits appear normal until the maggot is nearly full-grown, at which time sunken spots appear. Maggots and their frass inside the cherry render the fruit unsalable. Infested fruits are more susceptible to fungi. The third larval instar forms one to three holes (about 1 mm in diameter) through the skin of the cherry, before it leaves it for pupation in the soil (Frick et al., 1954).

Prevention and control


Upon detection, fallen and infected fruit should be removed and destroyed. This aspect is very important, but normally rarely executed as it costs time and money.

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:


R. cingulata is an important pest of cherries in eastern North America. In Europe, where it is found in cherry growing regions, it attacks late cherry varities, often tart cherries.