Classical biological control is suggested as a tool worth developing now for possible future use in the integrated pest management of the Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly), Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), in California. Three factors that impact broadly on developing and implementing such a biological control program are: (1) the question of Medfly establishment, (2) quarantine considerations, and (3) agricultural and urban concerns. Each of these factors and their combined effects must be considered when discussing biological control of Medfly in California as shaped by historical perspectives on Medfly invasions, methods of Medfly eradication, and past biological control efforts against Medfly. We believe that biological control research should play a foundational role in any future Medfly management programs in California. Development of biological control should involve life history studies of Medfly and its natural enemies in their area of endemicity in sub-Saharan, southeast Africa. Medfly has been studied and should continue to be studied in areas it has invaded, because information derived from such studies provides insights into the potential distribution, abundance, and impact of Medfly populations in California. A plan for a biological research program on Medfly and its relatives and a biological control strategy are presented.


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