The scutum is the largest sclerite of the mesonotum. In Tephritidae most of the thorax visible in dorsal view is the scutum (the only other parts directly visible in dorsal view are the postpronotal lobes, notopleura, scutellum, and occasionally the postnotum). The scutum is more or less rectangular and includes pre- and postsutural areas incompletely divided by the transverse suture. In Tephritidae it often has clear areas in the cuticle called xanthines. Their color may appear white or yellow, depending upon the underlying tissues and the state of preservation of the specimen. In Anastrepha these areas may be difficult to distinguish, especially in dried specimens of predominantly yellow or orange species in which they are less contrasting. Dorsally these areas usually include the postpronotal lobe, most of the scutellum, and a number of vittae (stripes). Posterior to the transverse suture there is at least a pair of sublateral vittae in line with and usually extending to the intra-alar setae. There is often an unpaired medial vitta that often broadens posteriorly, and occasionally there is another pair of intermediate vittae in line with the dorsocentral seta, usually present only anterior to the transverse suture. This character is better left unscored for pale specimens in which these vittae are difficult to distinguish.
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