Oriental Fruit Fly, Bactrocera dorsalis

The oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, is a serious pest of mangoes and other tropical fruits such as papaya.

Originating in the Asiatic region, the oriental fruit fly is now found in approximately 65 countries, including parts of America and Oceania, and most of sub-Saharan Africa.

Russell IPM manufacture and supply pheromone lures, traps and complete monitoring systems for Bactrocera dorsalis, the Oriental fruit fly. Accurate monitoring is essential to minimise damage and protect crops. Therefore, installation of pheromone traps will alert to the presence of unwanted pests at an early stage, detecting the insects before they become a major problem and enabling timely and effective treatment.

The fruit fly is a very destructive pest that is well established in Asia: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Ogasawara Islands, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and also Vietnam. B. dorsalis can be found in the United States, particularly Hawaii, California and Florida where reocurring infestations are common) Bactrocera dorsalis can fly 50-100km and has up to 10 generations of offspring per year.

Russell IPM offer Zonatrac against this pest – an innovative system that utilises an attract and kill technique against the males of the Bactrocera species.

Oriental Fruit Fly

Development of Bactrocera dorsalis from egg to adult requires about 16 days in warm temperate conditions. The mature larva emerges from the fruit, drops to the ground and forms a tan to dark brown puparium. Pupation occurs in the soil. About nine days are required for attainment of sexual maturity after the adult fly emerges.

The developmental periods of the oriental fruit fly may be extended considerably by cooler temperatures. Under optimum conditions, a female can lay more than 3,000 eggs during her lifetime, but under field conditions it is more common to observe appriximately 1,200 to 1,500 eggs per female. Ripe fruit are preferred for viposition, but immature ones may be attacked also.

Nature of Damage

Larval feeding of B. dorsalis in fruits is the most damaging to the plant. Damage usually consists of the breakdown of tissues and internal rotting associated with maggot infestation, but this varies with the type of fruit attacked. Infested young fruit becomes distorted, callused and usually drops. Mature attacked fruits develop a water soaked appearance.

The larval tunnels provide entry points for bacteria and fungi that cause the fruit to rot. When only a few larvae develop, damage consists of an unsightly appearance and reduced marketability because of the egg-laying punctures or tissue breakdown due to decay.


These notes are guidelines of general nature and meant to give the user a head start in implementing pheromone monitoring program. Local conditions and practices can vary and can lead to customization of the program.