All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory - Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Diptera - Fruit flies

Neaspilota reticulata Norrbom & Foote

Photograph by Jeffrey Lotz - FDACS/DPI















Fruit flies

Neaspilota reticulata was originally described by Norrbom & Foote in 2000 based upon only four specimens from Ohio and Michigan. This distinctive Neaspilota differs from other species in the genus in having an extensively reticulate wing pattern, hence the specific name, and so was designated as type species of a new subgenus, Footerellia Norrbom and Foote. The collection of N. reticulata within GSMNP represents only the fifth known specimen of this species, a new host record, and extends its known range to the southern Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee. 




Size: Small, approximately 4.5 mm from antennae to tip of wings.
Wing pattern: Mostly hyaline in basal third, brownish-black in apical two-thirds with extensive hyaline reticulation; most of the marginal hyaline spots are not continuous to the wing edge.
Body color: Dark background color of thorax obscured by golden pile (except posteroventrally); abdomen and head concolorous.
Oviscape: Reddish-brown, approximately 0.5 mm long, tapered to a blunt tip.


Neaspilota reticulata, Adult Female, Foothills Parkway (West), May 2002, Photograph by Jeffrey Lotz - FDACS/DPI.
Coreopsis major, Host for Neaspilota reticulata, Foothills Parkway (West), August 2002, Photograph by Gary J. Steck - FSCA.

Similar species:

 While at least five other species of Neaspilota are now known from GSMNP the extensive hyaline reticulation of the wings of this distinctive species should preclude confusion with any other.

(GSMNP in green)

 Previously known only from Ohio and Michigan, the range extends to at least southeastern Tennessee (GSMNP).


 In Park:

The crest of the Chilhowee Mountains (Foothills Parkway West).



 Coreopsis major Walter (Asteraceae). New host record.

Foothills Parkway (West), August 2002
Photograph by Gary J. Steck.



 Open, scrubby, rather dry pinelands along the crest of the Chilhowee Mountains, especially roadsides and recently burned areas.


 Multivoltine? A larva in a flower head of Coreopsis major collected mid-May 2002 emerged in June. Additional larvae of what is likely to be this species were found in flower heads of the host in August but did not emerge that year.

 Breeding and Courtship:


 Oviposition and Immature Stages:

 Larvae feed in flower heads of Coreopsis species.

 Predators and Parasites:


 Community Ecology:



Populations of this fly depend on maintenance of its host plant populations, which, in turn, require regular disturbances to maintain open meadows and edges along forests and roadsides.

 Special Protection Status:

- Rangewide: None

- In Park: All plants and animals are protected within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Collection requires a permit which is usually granted only for research or educational purposes.



Gary J. Steck, Ph.D., Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Gainesville
Bruce D. Sutton, Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Gainesville


Jeffrey Lotz, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Gainesville
Gary J. Steck, Ph.D., Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Gainesville

Web Page Development:

Bruce D. Sutton, Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Gainesville


Foote, R. H., F. L. Blanc, and A. L. Norrbom. 1993. Handbook of the fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) of America north of Mexico. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, 571 pp.
Norrbom, A. L. and B. A. Foote. 2000. A new subgenus, Footerellia, and new distribution records of Neaspilota Osten Sacken (Diptera: Terelliini). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 102(1): 2000.



hyaline - Clear or transparent.
oviposition - The act of laying eggs.
oviscape - The hardened sheath enclosing the needle-like ovipositor, or egg-laying structure, of female tephritid flies.
multivoltine - Having more than one generation per year.
reticulate - A pattern of hyaline spots on a dark background.


Please send any questions or comments to G. J. Steck or B. D. Sutton

Last Updated: October 21, 2002