Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae) is not invasive through Asia: it's been there all along.

Abstract

Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), is a highly polyphagous fruit fly which, in the last 15 years, has invaded (with or without establishment) Africa, Europe and North America. As a direct result of these invasions, there is increasing research interest in the invasion history and spread patterns of this fly. A statement being repeatedly used in the B. dorsalis invasion literature is that the species was first identified from Taiwan in 1912 and that it subsequently spread through South-East and South Asia during the 20th century. This assumption is incorrect and stems from: (a) an incomplete knowledge of B. dorsalis taxonomic history; and (b) a confounding of first taxonomic record with first invasion record. Rather than being first detected in Taiwan in 1912, the first record of oriental fruit fly was from "East India" (India orientali) under the synonymous name of Musca ferruginea by Fabricius in 1794, and in the 1910s, it was known not only from Taiwan, but widely across tropical Asia with records from India, Burma, Bengal, Sri Lanka (as Ceylon), Singapore and Indonesia (multiple islands). The taxonomic literature is very clear that oriental fruit fly has not invaded the rest of Asia from Taiwan since 1912, and this error should not continue to be repeated in the literature.