Queensland Fruit Fly vs common drosophila fly

02 April 2015

Some members of the public have asked why we are so concerned about fruit flies when we see these all the time hanging around our compost bins.

Queensland fruit flies (QFF) are different from small dark brown drosophila flies (also called vinegar flies or ferment flies) that hang around ripe and decaying fruit.

The QFF is around 6–8mm in length and is brown marked with yellow. A vinegar fly is much smaller, around 2mm in length (smaller than a common sand fly).

Most drosophila flies are not agricultural pests. However, they can be a nuisance where fruit and vegetables are stored.

One exception is the spotted wing drosophila which is a serious biosecurity threat and on the kiwifruit industry’s most unwanted list. The spotted wing drosophila is not present in New Zealand.