unknown fruit fly??
In the photos attached are some sort of fly that attacks my artichoke plants. they wander around the artichoke heads and stick their ugly egg laying thing into the creases of the flower head that is trying to grow. then their maggots eat holes (i believe) and ultimately damage the crop. Please help me identify this pest. and any methods i can use to trap them. I want to rid my garden of pests without the use of chemicals. Thanks Bugman.
Chris McCrea
Vallejo, California

Hi Chris,
Fruit Flies in the family Tephritinae, as depicted on BugGuide, often have ovipositors like the specimen in your photo. They also tend to have banded wings which your specimen does not have. We couldn’t locate a convincing match, but we will contact Eric Eaton to see if he has any ideas.

Update: May 22, 2011
In preparing for a lecture at Theodore Payne Foundation, we are finding images that we need for our PowerPoint, and in so doing, we are finding many unidentified insects buried deep in the archive, including this introduced Fruit Fly that feeds on artichokes, most likely
Terellia fuscicornis based on BugGuide.  The jury is still out whether this is an Invasive Exotic species that will decimate the artichoke crop in California, or if it is a beneficial import that may help control the spread of cardoons in open spaces.

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Location: California

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