fruit fly

(Trupanea actinobola)

Conservation Status
fruit fly (Trupanea actinobola)
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed


NNR - Unranked


not listed


Trupanea actinobola is a small fruit fly. It occurs across the United States and southern Canada. It is most common in the southwest, fairly common in Minnesota. Adults are found on the flower heads of several genera, including Aster, Coreopsis, Erigeron, Gnaphalium, Hieracium, Solidago, and Symphyotrichum.

The head is yellowish-gray, about as long as high, and relatively flat when viewed from the side. There are two large compound eyes on the sides of the head and and three small simple eyes (ocelli) in a triangle on top of the head. The compound eyes are green and bare, with no hairs. They do not meet at the top of the head on either sex. There are five bristles near the inner margin of each compound eye, two upper (orbital) bristles and three lower (frontal) bristles.

The thorax is gray and has three segments. Each segment has four principal exoskeletal plates, one above, one below, and one on each side. The upper (dorsal) plates, from front to rear, are the prescutum, scutum, and scutellum. The scutum has several long, black bristles, each rising from a small but distinct black spot, and numerous shorter hairs. There are two longitudinal rows of bristles on each side of the scutum near the middle. The outer (dorsocentral) row has just a single bristle. There is also a row of bristles (supra-alar bristles) near each lateral margin. There is a convex swelling (humeral callus) on the front corners of the scutum, and a pair of bristles on each humeral callus. The scutellum has a single pair of bristles and a fringe of shorter hairs.

The abdomen is gray. At the tip of the abdomen the ovipositor on the female and the external genitalia on the male are black.

The wings are clear at the base and have a pattern on the outer third. The pattern is a large dark spot on the leading edge (costal margin) with rays radiating to the inner and costal margins. Within the dark spot there is a small clear spot near the costal margin. The wing pattern is diagnostic to the species.

The legs are yellow.






Similar Species






Mid-May through October (CCESR)






Life Cycle


The female deposits eggs on the flower heads of host plants. The larvae enter and feed on the ovaries.


Larval Food




Adult Food


Several genera of plants, including Aster, Coreopsis, Erigeron, Gnaphalium, Hieracium, Solidago, and Symphyotrichum.


Distribution Map



24, 27, 29, 30, 82.

Handbook of the Fruit Flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) of America North of Mexico. Richard H. Foote, P. L. Blanc, Allen L. Norrbom. 1993. Cornell University Press (Comstock Publishing).




Fairly common in Minnesota



Diptera (gnats, mosquitoes, true flies)  


Brachycera (circular-seamed flies, mouches muscoïdes, muscoid flies, short-horned flies)  


  No Rank Eremoneura  
  No Rank Cyclorrhapha  
  No Rank Schizophora  
  No Rank Acalyptratae  


Tephritoidea (fungus gnats and gall midges)  


Tephritidae (fruit flies)  




  No Rank Tephritis genus group  







Trypeta actinobola


Common Names


This species has no common name. The common name for the family Tephritidae is fruit flies, and is applied here for convenience.








Costal margin

The leading edge of the forewing of insects



Simple eye; an eye with a single lens. Plural: ocelli.



The exoskeletal plate covering the rearward (posterior) part of the middle segment of the thorax in some insects. In Coleoptera, Hemiptera, and Homoptera, the dorsal, often triangular plate behind the pronotum and between the bases of the front wings. In Diptera, the exoskeletal plate between the abdomen and the thorax.



The forward (anterior) portion of the middle segment of the thorax (mesonotum) in insects and some arachnids.






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Alfredo Colon
  fruit fly (Trupanea actinobola)    Photos






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Alfredo Colon
September 2019

Location: Woodbury, MN

fruit fly (Trupanea actinobola)







Created: 1/31/2021

Last Updated:

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