Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Bactrocera frauenfeldi
(mango fruit fly)



Bactrocera frauenfeldi (mango fruit fly)


  • Last modified
  • 19 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Bactrocera frauenfeldi
  • Preferred Common Name
  • mango fruit fly
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta

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Bactrocera frauenfeldi (mango fruit fly); adult. Museum set specimen.
CaptionBactrocera frauenfeldi (mango fruit fly); adult. Museum set specimen.
Copyright©CABI BioScience
Bactrocera frauenfeldi (mango fruit fly); adult. Museum set specimen.
AdultBactrocera frauenfeldi (mango fruit fly); adult. Museum set specimen.©CABI BioScience


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Bactrocera frauenfeldi (Schin.)

Preferred Common Name

  • mango fruit fly

Other Scientific Names

  • Dacus frauenfeldi Schin.
  • Strumeta frauenfeldi (Schin.)

EPPO code

  • BCTRFR (Bactrocera frauenfeldi)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Diptera
  •                         Family: Tephritidae
  •                             Genus: Bactrocera
  •                                 Species: Bactrocera frauenfeldi

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page B. frauenfeldi (Schin.) belongs to the subgenus Bactrocera of the genus Bactrocera, it may therefore also be referred to as Bactrocera (Bactrocera) frauenfeldi (Schin.).

Leblanc (1997) refers to B. frauenfeldi as the mango fruit fly, however, this common name is also applied to other species elsewhere.


Top of page Egg

The eggs of B. oleae are described in detail by Margaritis (1985), and those of other species are probably very similar. Size, 0.8 mm long, 0.2 mm wide, with the micropyle protruding slightly at the anterior end. The chorion is reticulate (requires scanning electron microscope examination). White to yellow-white in colour.


The larvae are 5-7.5 mm long. Their features are similar to other species within the region such as B. passiflorae, and identification is therefore a specialist task. A detailed description is given by White and Elson-Harris (1994).


The puparium is barrel-shaped with most larval features being unrecognisable, with the exception of the anterior and posterior spiracles which are little changed by pupariation. White to yellow-brown in colour. Size is approximately 60-80% the length of the larva.


The genus Bactrocera belongs to the family Tephritidae, which is part of the superfamily Tephritoidea. As with most species of Tephritoidea, B. frauenfeldi has patterned wings, and the female has a long telescopic and pointed ovipositor; these features are hardly known outside the Tephritoidea. The family Tephritidae may also be separated from all other Diptera by the presence of setulae along the dorsal side of vein R1, and the shape of the subcostal vein, which bends abruptly through a right-angle and fades to a fold before reaching the wing edge. At the wing base, Bactrocera and Dacus species have a very deep cell bm and a very long pointed extension of cell bcu (= cup). The genus Bactrocera, is separated from Dacus, by the terga (dorsal sclerites of the abdomen) not being fused into a single sclerotised plate.

As with most species in or close to the subgenus Bactrocera, the scutum has two pale lateral vittae (lateral stripes) which are short and tapering in this species. The scutum has both anterior supra-alar setae and prescutellar acrostichal setae; there are two setae (apical pair) on the margin of the scutellum. The males have a deep V-shaped notch in the fifth sternite and a pecten (comb of setae) on each side of the third abdominal tergite.

This species can be separated from other members of the subgenus by the presence of a dark crossband from the pterostigma (cell sc), which also includes both the R-M and DM-Cu crossvein. This runs roughly parallel to the anal stripe (diagnonal mark across wing base). However, the costal band is very pale and often not visible at all.

B. frauenfeldi can be identified by its entirely dark postpronotal lobes (Drew, 1989); the dark triangle shaped mark on the scutellum; and the short tapered lateral vittae on the scutum.

For a species level identification see the CABIKEY in the CPC taxonomic identification aid (White and Hancock, 1997), or Drew (1989).


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The distribution of B. frauenfeldi is poorly documented with records often omitted from standard works. This has led to some confusion. For example, Drew (1989) did not mention the Pacific range of the species. In addition, prior to the work of Hardy (1983), Asian populations of a similar species (from western Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand) were regarded as conspecific but these are now considered a separate species, namely B. albistrigata.

A record of B. frauenfeldi in Guam published in previous editions of the Compendium was erroneous and has been changed to 'Absent, never occurred'. B. frauenfeldi was recorded in Saipan, based on a museum specimen collected in 1946, but three decades of intense trapping in Guam has never revealed its presence (Leblanc, 1997).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 23 Apr 2020

Risk of Introduction

Top of page B. frauenfeldi is native to the Pacific region, and was accidentally introduced to Australia, firstly to Cape York in 1974 (Drew, 1976), and later in Cairns in 1994 (Drew and Romig, 1997). This species is therefore a risk to climatically suitable areas, especially where Psidium guajava, Terminalia arjuna or Terminalia catappa are grown.

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page B. frauenfeldi is highly polyphagous, and according to Hamacek (1997) it has been recorded on 31 host species in Micronesia, 18 in the Solomon Islands and 22 in northern Queensland. Most of the data presented in the host table are derived from a recent host catalogue (Hancock et al., 2000; species with a single record were excluded and those marked as a major pest are listed as main hosts). Additional records are from Leblanc (1997).

Growth Stages

Top of page Fruiting stage


Top of page Fruit which have been attacked by B. frauenfeldi usually show signs of oviposition punctures around which necrosis may occur.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Fruit / discoloration
Fruit / gummosis
Fruit / internal feeding
Fruit / lesions: black or brown
Fruit / lesions: scab or pitting
Fruit / obvious exit hole
Fruit / odour
Fruit / ooze
Fruit / premature drop

Biology and Ecology

Top of page The eggs of Bactrocera species are laid below the skin of the host fruit. These usually hatch within a day and the larvae feed for 10-35 days, depending on the season. There are three larval instars. Pupariation occurs in the soil under the host plant for 10-30 days. Adults occur throughout the year and begin mating after approximately 1-2 weeks, and may live up to 1-3 months depending on the temperature (Christenson and Foote, 1960).

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page Predation of larvae as a result of vertebrates eating infested fruit and predation of puparia in the soil (for example, by ants), are generally regarded as major causes of fruit fly mortality (White and Elson-Harris, 1994). Recent surveys in the South Pacific have indicated that levels of larval parasitism are low, generally less than 10% (Allwood, 1997).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page Adult flight and the transport of infested fruit are the major means of movement and dispersal of this pest to new areas.

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Clothing, footwear and possessionsFruit in case or handbag. Yes
Containers and packaging - woodOf fruit cargo. Yes
Land vehiclesLorries, aeroplanes and perhaps ships, with fruit cargo. Yes
MailFruit in post. Yes
Soil, sand and gravelRisk of puparia in soil. Yes

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Fruits (inc. pods) eggs; larvae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Growing medium accompanying plants pupae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches
True seeds (inc. grain)


Top of page In Micronesia, B. frauenfeldi has been known to infest 91% of Psidium guajava fruit, 37% of Artocarpus altilis, 20% of Citrus sp., 8% of Mangifera indica and 4% of Citrus sinensis (Leblanc, 1997).

Detection and Inspection

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The males of this species are attracted to a cue lure which is usually mixed with an insecticide, and used as a bait in a trap based on the Steiner trap (White and Elson-Harris, 1994). However, both sexes may be monitored using protein bait traps (either protein hydrolysate or protein autolysate; Drew, 1982). Field monitoring is largely carried out using traps within the areas of infestation. However, there is evidence that some fruit flies have different host preferences in different parts of their range, and host fruit surveys should also be considered as part of the monitoring process.

Many countries that are free of Bactrocera species, such as the USA (California and Florida) and New Zealand, maintain a grid of methyl eugenol (a male attractant for many other species) and cue lure traps in high-risk areas (e.g. ports and airports). These traps may also be placed within other regions with a potential climate for infestation.

Fruit which are grown locally or samples of fruit imports, should be inspected for puncture marks and any associated necrosis. Suspect fruit should be cut open and checked for larvae. Larval identification is difficult, mature larvae should be transferred to sawdust (or a similar dry medium) to allow pupariation. Upon emergence, adult flies must be fed with sugar and water for several days to allow hardening and full colour to develop, before they can be identified.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page B. frauenfeldi may easily be mistaken for B. albistrigata (in Asia) and B. caledoniensis (from New Caledonia), however the latter two species have pale marks on the postpronota.

Prevention and Control

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Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.

Control of South Pacific fruit flies is reviewed by Allwood (1997). When detected, it is important to gather all fallen and infected host fruits, and destroy them. Baited traps should be continuously used to monitor the population size and spread. One of the most effective control techniques against fruit flies is to wrap the fruit, either in newspaper, paper bags, or polythene sleeves. This is a simple physical barrier to oviposition but it must be applied well before the fruit is attacked. Early harvesting is also an effective control, because very few Bactrocera species attack the fruit prior to ripening.

Although cover sprays of the entire crop are sometimes used, bait sprays are both more economical and more environmentally acceptable. A bait spray consists of a suitable insecticide (e.g. malathion), which is mixed with a protein bait (Roessler, 1989); practical details are given by Bateman (1982). Both male and female fruit flies are attracted to protein sources which emanate ammonia, and so insecticides can be applied to just a few spots in an orchard and the flies will be attracted to these spots. The protein most widely used is hydrolysed protein, but some supplies of this are acid hydrolysed which are highly phytotoxic. Smith and Nannan (1988) have developed a system using autolysed protein. In Tonga this has been developed into a very effective commercial product derived from brewery waste (Heimoana et al., 1997).

Many countries, such as the USA, forbid the import of susceptible fruit without a strict post-harvest treatment having been applied by the exporter. This may involve fumigation, heat treatment (hot vapour or hot water), cold treatments or insecticidal dipping (Armstrong and Couey, 1989; Armstrong, 1997). Heat treatment tends to reduce the shelf life of most fruits, and so the most effective method of regulatory control is to restrict imports of a given fruit to areas free of fruit fly attack.


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Allwood AJ, 1997. Control strategies for fruit flies (family Tephritidae) in the South Pacific, In: Allwood AJ, Drew RAI, eds. Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific. A Regional Symposium, Nadi, Fiji. ACIAR Proceedings, 76: 171-182.

Allwood AJ, Vueti ET, Leblanc L, Bull R, 2003. Eradication of introduced Bactrocera species (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Nauru using male annihilation and protein bait application techniques. In: Turning the tide: the eradication of invasive species: Proceedings of the International Conference on eradication of island invasives [ed. by Veitch, C. R.\Clout, M. N.]. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN-The World Conservation Union, 19-25.

Armstrong JW, 1997. Quarantine treatment options for fruit fly host commodities for Pacific island countries. In: Allwood AJ, Drew RAI, eds. Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific. A Regional Symposium, Nadi, Fiji. ACIAR Proceedings, 76: 222-224.

Armstrong JW, Couey HM, 1989. Control; fruit disinfestation; fumigation, heat and cold. In: Robinson AS, Hooper G, eds. Fruit Flies; their Biology, Natural Enemies and Control. World Crop Pests. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier, 3(B):411-424.

Bateman MA, 1982. III. Chemical methods for suppression or eradication of fruit fly populations, In: Drew RAI, Hooper GHS, Bateman MA eds. Economic Fruit Flies of the South Pacific Region. 2nd edn. Brisbane, Australia: Queensland Department of Primary Industries, 115-128.

Christenson LD, Foote RH, 1960. Biology of fruit flies. Annual Review of Entomology, 5:171-192.

Chu YI, Lee KT, Tseng YH, 1994. Occurrence of melon and oriental fruit fly in Republic of Nauru. Plant Protection Bulletin (Taipei), 36(2):131-140.

Drew RAI, 1976. New exotic fruit fly introductions to Australia. Queensland Agricultural Journal, 102(1):93-94

Drew RAI, 1982. IV. Fruit fly collecting. In: Drew RAI, Hooper GHS, Bateman MA, eds. Economic fruit flies of the South Pacific Region, ed. 2. Brisbane, Australia: Queensland Department of Primary Industries, 129-139.

Drew RAI, 1989. The tropical fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae: Dacinp) of the Australasian and Oceanian regions. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 26:521 pp.

Drew RAI, Romig MC, 1997. Overview - Tephritidae in the Pacific and South-East Asia. In: Allwood AJ, Drew RAI, eds. Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific. A Regional Symposium, Nadi, Fiji. ACIAR Proceedings, 76:46-53.

EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.

Hamacek E, 1997. Host records of fruit flies in the South Pacific, In: Allwood AJ, Drew RAI, eds. Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific. A Regional Symposium, Nadi, Fiji. ACIAR Proceedings, 76:102-104.

Hancock DL, Hamacek EL, Lloyd AC, Elson-Harris MM, 2000. The distribution and host plants of fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Australia. Department of Primary Industries, Queensland, Information Series Q199067: 1-75.

Hardy DE, 1983. The fruit flies of the genus Dacus Fabricius of Java, Sumatra and Lombok, Indonesia (Diptera: Tephritidae). Treubia, 29:1-45.

Heimoana V, Nemeye P, Langi T, Allwood AJ, 1997. Assessment of protein bait sprays for the control of fruit flies in chilli and capsicum crops in Tonga, In: Allwood AJ, Drew RAI, eds. Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific. A Regional Symposium, Nadi, Fiji. ACIAR Proceedings, 76: 179-182.

Hollingsworth RG, Drew RAI, Allwood AJ, Romig M, Vagalo M, Tsatsia F, 2003. Host plants and relative abundance of fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) species in the Solomon Islands. Australian Journal of Entomology, 42(2):95-108.

Leblanc L, 1997. Fruit fly fauna in Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Palua, Kiribati, Northern Marianas and Marshall Islands, In: Allwood AJ, Drew RAI (eds), Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific. A Regional Symposium, Nadi, Fiji. ACIAR Proceedings, 76:64-67.

Margaritis LH, 1985. Comparative study of the eggshell of the fruit flies Dacus oleae and Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Trypetidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology, 63(9):2194-2206

Muraji M, Nakahara S, 2002. Discrimination among pest species of Bactrocera (Diptera: Tephritidae) based on PCR-RFLP of the mitochondrial DNA. Applied Entomology and Zoology, 37(3):437-446.

Roessler Y, 1989. Control; insecticides; insecticidal bait and cover sprays. In: Robinson AS, Hooper G, eds. Fruit Flies. Their Biology, Natural Enemies and Control. World Crop Pests 3(B). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier, 329-336.

Sar S, Balagawi S, Mararuai A, Putulan D, 2001. Fruit fly research and development in PNG. Food security for Papua New Guinea. Proceedings of the Papua New Guinea Food and Nutrition 2000 Conference, PNG University of Technology, Lae, Papua New Guinea, 26-30 June 2000, 571-576; 3 ref.

Smith D, Nannan L, 1988. Yeast autolysate bait sprays for control of Queensland fruit fly on passionfruit in Queensland. Queensland Journal of Agricultural and Animal Sciences, 45(2):169-177.

Smith ESC, 2000. The national fruit fly situation in Australia. In: Proceedings of the Indian Ocean Commission, Regional Fruit Fly Symposium, Flic en Flac, Mauritius, 5th-9th June, 2000 [ed. by Price, N. S.\Seewooruthun, I.]. Quatre Bornes, Mauritius: Indian Ocean Commission, 123-126.

White IM, Elson-Harris MM, 1994. Fruit flies of economic significance: their identification and bionomics. Wallingford, UK: CAB International. Reprint with addendum.

White IM, Hancock DL, 1997. CABIKEY to the Dacini (Diptera, Tephritidae) of the Asian, Pacific and Australasian Regions. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.

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