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Species Page

Oriental fruit fly

Bactrocera dorsalis
This information is part of a full datasheet available in the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC). Find out more information on how to access the CPC.
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.


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Host plants / species affected

Main hosts

show all species affected
Anacardium occidentale (cashew nut)
Annona cherimola (cherimoya)
Annona glabra (pond apple)
Annona macroprophyllata
Annona montana
Annona muricata (soursop)
Annona reticulata (bullock's heart)
Annona senegalensis (wild custard apple)
Annona squamosa (sugar apple)
Areca catechu (betelnut palm)
Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit)
Artocarpus elasticus
Artocarpus heterophyllus (jackfruit)
Artocarpus integer (champedak)
Artocarpus lacucha (monkey jack)
Artocarpus lanceifolius
Artocarpus nitidus
Artocarpus odoratissimus
Artocarpus rigidus
Artocarpus sericicarpus
Averrhoa bilimbi (bilimbi)
Averrhoa carambola (carambola)
Baccaurea motleyana
Baccaurea racemosa
Baccaurea ramiflora
Barringtonia edulis
Blighia sapida (akee apple)
Borassus flabellifer (toddy palm)
Bouea macrophylla
Bouea oppositifolia
Capsicum annuum (bell pepper)
Capsicum frutescens (chilli)
Carica papaya (pawpaw)
Casimiroa edulis (white sapote)
Chrysophyllum albidum
Chrysophyllum cainito (caimito)
Citrofortunella mitis
Citrullus colocynthis (colocynth)
Citrullus lanatus (watermelon)
Citrus aurantiifolia (lime)
Citrus aurantium (sour orange)
Citrus hystrix (mauritius bitter orange)
Citrus jambhiri (rough lemon)
Citrus latifolia (tahiti lime)
Citrus limon (lemon)
Citrus maxima (pummelo)
Citrus reticulata (mandarin)
Citrus sinensis (navel orange)
Citrus swinglei
Citrus x paradisi (grapefruit)
Clausena lansium (wampi)
Coffea arabica (arabica coffee)
Coffea canephora (robusta coffee)
Cucumis melo (melon)
Cucumis sativus (cucumber)
Cucurbita maxima (giant pumpkin)
Cucurbita pepo (marrow)
Dimocarpus longan (longan tree)
Diospyros blancoi (mabolo)
Diospyros kaki (persimmon)
Diospyros montana
Dovyalis hebecarpa (ketembilla)
Elaeocarpus hygrophilus
Eriobotrya japonica (loquat)
Eugenia reinwardtiana
Eugenia uniflora (Surinam cherry)
Ficus racemosa (cluster tree)
Ficus sycomorus (sycamore fig)
Flacourtia indica (governor's plum)
Flacourtia rukam (rukam)
Flueggea virosa
Fortunella japonica (round kumquat)
Fortunella margarita (oval kumquat)
Garcinia atroviridis
Garcinia cowa
Garcinia dioica
Garcinia dulcis (yellow mangosteen)
Garcinia mangostana (mangosteen)
Garcinia prainiana
Garcinia xanthochymus
Glycosmis pentaphylla
Hylocereus undatus (dragon fruit)
Inocarpus fagifer
Irvingia gabonensis (wild mango)
Lagenaria siceraria (bottle gourd)
Lansium domesticum (langsat)
Lepisanthes fruticosa
Maclura cochinchinensis
Malpighia emarginata
Malpighia glabra (acerola)
Malus domestica (apple)
Mangifera caesia (binjai)
Mangifera foetida (bachang)
Mangifera griffithii
Mangifera indica (mango)
Mangifera laurina
Mangifera odorata (kurwini mango)
Manilkara zapota (sapodilla)
Microcos tomentosa
Mimusops elengi (spanish cherry)
Mitrephora teysmannii
Momordica charantia (bitter gourd)
Morinda citrifolia (Indian mulberry)
Morus alba (mora)
Morus nigra (black mulberry)
Muntingia calabura (Jamaica cherry)
Musa (banana)
Musa acuminata (wild banana)
Musa acuminata (wild banana)
Musa troglodytarum
Musa x paradisiaca (plantain)
Myrciaria cauliflora (jaboticaba)
Nephelium lappaceum (rambutan)
Ochreinauclea maingayi
Parkia speciosa
Passiflora edulis (passionfruit)
Passiflora laurifolia
Passiflora quadrangularis (giant granadilla)
Persea americana (avocado)
Phaseolus vulgaris (common bean)
Physalis angulata (cutleaf groundcherry)
Pometia pinnata (fijian longan)
Poncirus trifoliata (Trifoliate orange)
Pouteria caimito
Pouteria campechiana (canistel)
Prunus armeniaca (apricot)
Prunus avium (sweet cherry)
Prunus cerasus (sour cherry)
Prunus domestica (plum)
Prunus mume (Japanese apricot tree)
Prunus persica (peach)
Prunus salicina (Japanese plum)
Psidium cattleianum (strawberry guava)
Psidium guajava (guava)
Punica granatum (pomegranate)
Pyrus communis (European pear)
Pyrus pyrifolia (Oriental pear tree)
Rhodomyrtus tomentosa (Downy rose-myrtle)
Rollinia pulchrinervis
Sandoricum koetjape (santol)
Sauropus androgynus
Sclerocarya birrea (marula)
Solanum aethiopicum (african scarlet eggplant)
Solanum americanum
Solanum anguivi
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)
Solanum melongena (aubergine)
Solanum stramoniifolium
Spondias dulcis (otaheite apple)
Spondias mombin (hog plum)
Spondias pinnata
Spondias purpurea (red mombin)
Syzygium aqueum (watery rose-apple)
Syzygium aromaticum (clove)
Syzygium cumini (black plum)
Syzygium jambos (rose apple)
Syzygium lineatum
Syzygium malaccense (Malay apple)
Syzygium megacarpum
Syzygium nervosum
Syzygium samarangense (water apple)
Theobroma cacao (cocoa)
Trichosanthes ovigera
Triphasia trifolia (limeberry)
Vitellaria paradoxa (shea tree)
Willughbeia edulis
Ximenia americana (hog plum)
Ziziphus jujuba (common jujube)
Ziziphus mauritiana (jujube)
Ziziphus nummularia (lotebush)

List of symptoms / signs

Fruit - internal feeding
Fruit - lesions: black or brown
Fruit - premature drop


Following oviposition there may be some necrosis around the puncture mark ('sting'). This is followed by decomposition of the fruit.

Prevention and control

Regulatory Control

Many countries, such as the mainland USA, forbid the import of susceptible fruit without strict post-harvest treatment having been applied by the exporter. This may involve fumigation, heat treatment (hot vapour or hot water), cold treatments, insecticidal dipping, or irradiation (Armstrong and Couey, 1989). Irradiation is not accepted in most countries and many have now banned methyl bromide fumigation. Heat treatment tends to reduce the shelf life of most fruits and so the most effective method of regulatory control is preferentially to restrict imports of a given fruit to areas free of fruit fly attack.

Cultural Control and Sanitary Methods

One of the most effective control techniques against fruit flies in general is to wrap fruit, either in newspaper, a paper bag, or in the case of long/thin fruits, a polythene sleeve. This is a simple physical barrier to oviposition, but it has to be applied well before the fruit is attacked. There is also some evidence that neem seed kernel extract can deter oviposition (Shivendra-Singh and Singh, 1998). Early harvesting is also an effective control strategy for mango (Gajendra-Singh et al., 1997). Little information is available on the attack time for most fruits but few Bactrocera spp. attack prior to ripening.

Other control and sanitary methods include the removal and destruction of fallen fruits because they may harbour larvae that could form a next generation. Destruction can either be by burning, deep burrowing (at least 0.5 m below the surface), feeding them to pigs, or putting the fruits in dark-coloured plastic bags and placing them in the sun (so that the inside temperature rises and kills the larvae).

Another method is raking or disturbing the soil below the fruit trees using other means. This will expose the puparia, leading to desiccation or predation by other organisms.

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:


B. dorsalis is a very serious pest of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables throughout its range and damage levels can be anything up to 100% of unprotected fruit.