Maggot in a ripe/mature fig

Asked September 27, 2020, 9:52 PM EDT

I've never seen a maggot in, and eating, a ripe fig. We acquired this tree when we purchased the property 7 years ago. This is the first time I've seen this critter in the figs. When I researched I only found the fig wasp. However, since this is a symbiotic wasp, I don't believe this is the maggot I've found. My questions are: What is this maggot and, assuming it's not beneficial, how best to treat the tree for this pest.

Linn County Oregon

1 Response

You are correct that this is definitely not a fig wasp larva. We don't have the wasp in Oregon and we can only grow fig varieties that don't require the wasp to develop.

Unfortunately, the image is not clear enough to diagnose the insect. But, I believe from what I do see that this is a moth larva (caterpillar) not a maggot. If you like you could submit a specimen to the Insect ID clinic (https://bpp.oregonstate.edu/plant-clinic/insect-id-clinic) or post another photo showing some different views of the larva, especially the head would be needed to determine maggot vs. caterpillar.

Are there a lot of figs infested with larvae? This will be important to know. I suspect this could be a relatively rare occurrence of a generalist moth such as a leafroller that has attacked the fruit and probably does not require management. If there are a lot of fruit affected then we would definitely need to identify the the pest to recommend appropriate management.