The European cherry fruit fly (Rhagoletis cerasi L.) is the most serious pest of cherries in Europe. Damage associated with this pest is caused by larval feeding in the fruit pulp, which can result in losses of up to 100% if left uncontrolled. This pest may be introduced to new areas with fresh cherries or with soil or fruit from host plants grown in areas where this pest occurs.
The presence of this pest in Canada was confirmed for the first time in June 2016 in an urban park located in Mississauga, Ontario. This is the first record of this fly in North America.
Literature from Europe suggests the principle host is Prunus spp., including sweet cherry (P. avium), sour cherry (P. cerasus), black cherry (P. serotina) and mahaleb cherry (P. mahaleb). Honeysuckle hosts documented in Europe include Lonicera xylosteum, L. tartarica, and L. alpigena. In Ontario, adult detections have been in association with Lonicera spp., including L. morrowii, L. tartarica, and L. xbella. This species attacks the fruit of its host plants but no other part of the plant.
Currently, a quarantine area has been created in the US state of New York, for Erie, Niagara & Orleans Counties.
This species occurs throughout most of Europe, except the British Isles. It is also found in temperate regions of Asia, including areas of the Middle East and Central Asia.