logo IPPC
      FAQ            Log in

Occurrence of melon fly (Zeugodacus cucurbitae) in Mozambique

Publication Date
Tue, 15 Aug 2023, 09:48
Last Updated
Feb. 28, 2024, 12:20 p.m.
Report Number
Pest Id
Zeugodacus cucurbitae - (DACUCU)
Report Status
Mainly the host is the Cucurbitaceae family such as (cucumber, watermelon, melon, and pumpkin) Also can attack some species of the families of Caricaceae, Passifloraceae, Rutaceae, Solanaceae
Pest Status (ISPM 8 - 2021)
  • Present: except in specified pest free areas
Geographical Distribution
The pest is present in all Mozambican provincies except the provincies of the South (Maputo, Gaza, and Inhambane)

The melon fly, Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Coquillett) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is one of about 250 tephrites of economic importance worldwide (Vayssiéres, 1998; Virgil et al., 2015). Native to India, and invasive in Africa, it is considered as one of the main pests that attack Cucurbitaceae (such as cucumber, watermelon, melon and pumpkin. In Mozambique, the species was first detected in 2013 in the village of Mocimboa da Praia in the province of Cabo Delgado near the border with Tanzania, and 4 individuals were identified (Cugala et al., 2013). When present in cucurbit production fields, the melon fly can cause perforations in the fruits that serve as a gateway for bacteria and fungi, deformations and premature fall of the fruits, resulting in yield losses (quality and quantity) estimated at 53 – 100% (Abro et al., 2017 and Ekesi et al., 2016 100% (De Meyer et al., 2015). The movement of cucurbit fruits from regions where Zeugodacus cucurbitae occurs is the main means of dispersal to previously infested areas, which is why, currently, the country faces an imminent threat from the dispersal of this species of fruit fly. Since 2013, no studies have been conducted to update data on the dispersal of Zeugodacus cucurbitae in the country. From May 2021 to May 2023 with support of the project on “Establishment and maintenance of free fruit production areas with low prevalence of fruit fly in Southern Africa” monitoring activities for melon fruit fly was carried out in some provinces of Mozambique The results showed that Zeugodacus cucurbitae is present in the provinces of Cabo Delgado, Niassa, Nampula, Zambezia, Tete, Manica, and Sofala with a population relatively low. The high density of the pest was found in Nampula province while the absence of the pest was found in the provinces of Maputo, Gaza, and Inhambane. As measures the suppress the pest the NPPO of Mozambique together with its partners is engaged on disseminating the management measures including the stop movement of host plants from infested areas to non-infested areas.

According to Nasiruddin et al. (2004) the incidence of attack by the melon fly can reach high infestation rates of 88 pupae/kg to 325.3 pupae/kg of fruit in cucumber (Cucumis sativus), 179 pupae/kg to 718.25 pupae/kg in zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) and 333 pupae/kg to 681.92 pupae/kg in pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) (Kambura, 2016 and Kambura et al., 2018 The country faces an imminent threat from the dispersal of this fruit fly species to the living zones. Z. cucurbitae is a considered quarantine pest in several countries
Contact for info
Domingos Raquene Cugala Eduardo Mondlane University Email: [email protected] Cell: 00258823148430 Laura José Canhanga Eduardo Mondlane University Email: [email protected] Cell 0025886871633) Antonia Vaz NPPO of Mozambique Emial: [email protected] Cell: 0025887698845
Report files
Issue keywords
Pest reporting
Commodity keywords
Fresh melons (excl. watermelons)

« Back to Pest Reports