Morphological and molecular identification of African fruit flies (Diptera, Tephritidae)

Description of project:
Tephritidae is one of the largest dipteran families comprising >4000 species of which 350 are of economic importance (EI), mainly as pests of cultivated fruits. In Africa, most pest species belong to the genera Ceratitis, Dacus, and Bactrocera. TBI (Tephritid Barcoding Initiative) is an international project initiated by CBOL, that aims at barcoding all EI taxa and their congeners. The JEMU (Joint Experimental Molecular Unit), a joint unit of two BE-TAF members, focuses on barcoding initiatives for a wide variety of organisms. The Royal Museum for Central Africa has one of the most important collections of African fruit flies and has extensive expertise in the morphological taxonomy and systematics of the major pest genera.

Duration of training:
2 weeks

Training period:
To be discussed with mentor, training from December 2011 onward

Target Audience:
Candidates should have profound knowledge of work in a molecular laboratory, in particular with regard to extraction procedures, PCR and sequencing. The molecular aspect of the training is not intended as general training in barcoding but focuses on the specific techniques and protocols with regard to fruit flies.

Practical experiences: 

  • Techniques (preparations, collection techniques)
  • Molecular techniques: particular protocols for DNA extraction, PCR, sequencing with particular reference to fruit flies specimen database development
  • Identification of AfrotropicalTephritidae
  • Host plant data
  • Literature search


  • Systematics of the African Tephritidae
  • Zoogeography of the Afrotropical Realm
  • Phylogeny and host plant relationships within African Tephritidae

Research project: within framework of JEMU and TBI

Name of mentor/supervisor:
Dr. Marc De Meyer

Royal Museum for Central Africa, Entomology Section
Leuvensesteenweg 13, B-3080 Tervuren, Belgium

Registration fee:
There is a registration fee per participant of 500 euro for students and researchers (2500 euro for persons coming from private companies and industry). Participants are responsible for their own travel and subsistence expenses.

Deadline for registration: 1 October 2011
Participants will be notified by 14 October 2011 whether accepted to the training.
Click here for the registration form.

Payment details and deadline will be provided upon acceptance to the training.