Scientific Name Of The Pest : Bactrocera Cucurbitae
Common Name of the Pest : Melon fly
Host crops : Gherkin, Cucumber , Bottle gourd, Bitter gourd, Sweet gourd, Snake gourd, Ridge gourd, Pointed gourd , Sponge gourd, Pumpkins ,Mask melon, Watermelon.
Adult Melon fruit flies are similar in size to a housefly, about 6-8 mm long. The body is light brown to a honey color in appearance. There are several prominent bright yellow markings on the thorax (upper body) and a distinctive black 'T' pattern at the base of the abdomen (lower body). The wings are clear with a dark coastal vein and "melon seed" shaped spot at the tip.
It prefers young, green, and tender fruits for egg laying. The females lay the eggs 2 to 4 mm deep in the fruit pulp, and the maggots feed inside the developing fruits. At times, the eggs are also laid in the corolla of the flower, and the maggots feed on the flowers. A few maggots have also been observed to feed on the stems. The fruits attacked in early stages fail to develop properly, and drop or rot on the plant. Since, the maggots damage the fruits internally, it is difficult to control this pest with insecticides. One female may lay over 1000 eggs during her life. Oviposition peaks occur in the morning and late afternoon. Eggs hatch in about 24 hours.
Melon fly cannot be controlled by pesticide spray. Wooden blocks impregnated with cue lure or cotton wicks placed in the trap along with malathion/DDVP soaked in small cotton wicks they are suspended in the middle of the trap to release the scent slowly in the atmosphere to attract and trap the fruit flies.