All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory - Great Smoky Mountains National Park


Diptera - Fruit flies

Procecidocharoides penelope (Osten Sacken)

Photograph by Jeffrey Lotz - FDACS/DPI















Fruit flies




Size: Approximately 5.5 mm from antennae to tip of wings.
Wing pattern: Colored bands are yellowish and brown; one band is basal and three others converge anteriorly at the middle of the wing.
Body color: Thorax mostly shiny black with golden setae, remainder of body yellowish-orange.
Oviscape: Concolorous to slightly darker than abdomen, approximately 0.4 mm long, although appearing only about half that length in dorsal view.


Procecidocharoides penelope, Adult Female, The Purchase, August 2002, Photograph by Jeffrey Lotz - FDACS/DPI.

Similar species:

 No other tephritid fly in GSMNP should be confused with this distinctive species.

(GSMNP in green; localized state records as red circles)

 Northern U.S. from Mississippi River drainage east reaching its southern extent in the southern Appalachian Mountains region.


 In Park:

Newfound Gap, Spruce-Fir Trail, and The Purchase. One specimen trapped in western Cades Cove.



 White Snake Root, Ageratina altissima (L.) King & HE Robins (Asteraceae).



 Higher elevation forests and/or edges where the host is present. Appears to be restricted to habitats having a conifer overstory. Has not been found at slightly lower elevations having a deciduous overstory except for 1 specimen trapped at Cades Cove. The Cades Cove record may be a fluke.


Adults have been found in mid-August in GSMNP. Flight time has been reported from late June to late August in Iowa and Pennsylvania. Larvae feed in flowers of the host, typically without external evidence of infestation. Larvae exit the flowers to pupariate in the soil. Probably univoltine. See Stoltzfus (1974).

 Breeding and Courtship:


 Oviposition and Immature Stages:

 Reproductive behavior is unknown. Immature stages were described by Stoltzfus (1974).

 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 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.
Stoltzfus, W.B. 1974. Biology and larval description of Procecidocharoides penelope (Osten Sacken) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal Washington Academy of Science 64: 12-14.  


instar - A stage in larval development between molts. There are three active larval instars in higher Diptera.
oviposition - The act of laying eggs.
oviscape - The hardened sheath enclosing the needle-like ovipositor, or egg-laying structure, of female tephritid flies.
pupariation - The act of forming a puparium, which is the hardened, cocoon-like structure, unique to Diptera, which develops from the cast 3rd instar skin, within which metamorphosis from pupa to adult takes place.
univoltine - Having one generation per year.

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

Last Updated: October 29, 2002