Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Bactrocera neohumeralis



Bactrocera neohumeralis


Top of page
Bactrocera neohumeralis; adult. Museum set specimen.
CaptionBactrocera neohumeralis; adult. Museum set specimen.
Copyright©CABI BioScience
Bactrocera neohumeralis; adult. Museum set specimen.
AdultBactrocera neohumeralis; adult. Museum set specimen.©CABI BioScience


Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • Bactrocera neohumeralis (Hardy)

Other Scientific Names

  • Chaetodacus humeralis Perkins
  • Chaetodacus tryoni var. sarcocephali Tryon
  • Dacus neohumeralis Hardy
  • Dacus tryoni var. neohumeralis Hardy

Local Common Names

  • Australia: lesser Queensland fruit fly

EPPO code

  • BCTRNE (Bactrocera neohumeralis)

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Diptera
  •                         Family: Tephritidae
  •                             Genus: Bactrocera
  •                                 Species: Bactrocera neohumeralis

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page
B. neohumeralis was originally described as Dacus humeralis, but that is a junior homonym to an African species called Dacus humeralis. Consequently, Hardy proposed the replacement name of Dacus neohumeralis. It is now placed in the subgenus Bactrocera of the genus Bactrocera and so its presently accepted name may optionally be cited as Bactrocera (Bactrocera) neohumeralis.


Top of page

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.


Tha larvae are 7-9.5 mm long. Their features are similar to other species in the region (for example, B. tryoni), 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 unrecognizable, 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. neohumeralis 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 sclerotized plate.

As with most species in or close to the subgenus Bactrocera, 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.

Within the subgenus Bactrocera, B. neohumeralis belongs to a species group known as the B. tryoni species group (see key by Drew, 1989), which can be identified by the costal band colouration being extended basally to include the two basal costal cells (cells bc and c). In this group cell c is also unusual completely covered in microtrichiae, and the scutum is red-brown. Within the B. tryoni species group, B. neohumeralis can be recognized by its entirely dark postpronotal lobesm, which are the same colour as the scutum.

For a species level identification see White and Hancock (1997) or Drew (1989).


Top of page
The distribution of B. neohumeralis is mapped by Drew (1982a). In Queensland, Australia, it is found in areas where the annual rainfall exceeds 760 mm (Drew, 1982a).

Distribution Table

Top of page

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 Nov 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes


AustraliaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-New South WalesPresent, Localized
-QueenslandPresent, Localized
Papua New GuineaPresentOriginal citation: Tenakanai (1997)

Risk of Introduction

Top of page
Although B. neohumeralis is generally not regarded as being such a serious pest as B. tryoni (perhaps because it gets misidentified as B. tryoni), this species is found in a similar geographic and host fruit range, indicating that it too poses a serious risk to climatically suitable areas elsewhere. In New Zealand, rapid diagnostic techniques for detection are being developed (Armstrong et al., 1997).


Top of page
Rainforest and areas where suitable hosts are cultivated.

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page
B. neohumeralis is a highly polyphagous species, with a host range similar to that of B. tryoni. The data presented in the host range table are derived from a recent host catalogue by Hancock et al. (2000). Major hosts include Psidium guajava, Psidium cattleianum (wild guava, little economic use), Coffea arabica (but causes no damage) and Terminalia catappa (little economic use).

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

Top of page
Plant nameFamilyContextReferences
Anacardium occidentale (cashew nut)AnacardiaceaeOther
Annona glabra (pond apple)AnnonaceaeOther
Annona muricata (soursop)AnnonaceaeOther
Annona reticulata (bullock's heart)AnnonaceaeOther
Annona squamosa (sugar apple)AnnonaceaeOther
Averrhoa carambola (carambola)OxalidaceaeOther
Calophyllum inophyllum (Alexandrian laurel)ClusiaceaeOther
Cananga odorata (ylang-ylang)AnnonaceaeOther
Capsicum annuum (bell pepper)SolanaceaeOther
Carica papaya (pawpaw)CaricaceaeOther
Casimiroa edulis (white sapote)RutaceaeOther
Chrysophyllum cainito (caimito)SapotaceaeOther
Citrus aurantiifolia (lime)RutaceaeOther
Citrus limon (lemon)RutaceaeOther
Citrus maxima (pummelo)RutaceaeOther
Citrus reticulata (mandarin)RutaceaeOther
Citrus sinensis (sweet orange)RutaceaeOther
Citrus x paradisi (grapefruit)RutaceaeOther
Clausena lansium (wampi)RutaceaeOther
Coffea arabica (arabica coffee)RubiaceaeOther
Crateva religiosa (Bengal quince)CapparaceaeOther
Cyphomandra betacea (tree tomato)SolanaceaeOther
Diospyros blancoi (mabolo)EbenaceaeOther
Diospyros kaki (persimmon)EbenaceaeOther
Eriobotrya japonica (loquat)RosaceaeOther
Eugenia brasiliensis (brazil cherry)LithomyrtusOther
Eugenia uniflora (Surinam cherry)LithomyrtusOther
Feijoa sellowiana (Horn of plenty)LithomyrtusOther
Fortunella japonica (round kumquat)RutaceaeOther
Malpighia emarginataMalpighiaceaeOther
Malus sylvestris (crab-apple tree)RosaceaeOther
Mangifera indica (mango)AnacardiaceaeOther
Manilkara zapota (sapodilla)SapotaceaeOther
Morus nigra (black mulberry)MoraceaeOther
Muntingia calabura (Jamaica cherry)TiliaceaeOther
Musa x paradisiaca (plantain)MusaceaeOther
Myrciaria cauliflora (jaboticaba)LithomyrtusOther
Passiflora edulis (passionfruit)PassifloraceaeOther
Passiflora foetida (red fruit passion flower)PassifloraceaeOther
Passiflora quadrangularis (giant granadilla)PassifloraceaeOther
Passiflora suberosa (corkystem passionflower)PassifloraceaeOther
Phoenix dactylifera (date-palm)ArecaceaeOther
Pouteria caimitoSapotaceaeOther
Prunus armeniaca (apricot)RosaceaeOther
Prunus domestica (plum)RosaceaeOther
Prunus persica (peach)RosaceaeOther
Prunus salicina (Japanese plum)RosaceaeOther
Psidium cattleianum (strawberry guava)LithomyrtusWild host
Psidium guajava (guava)LithomyrtusMain
Pyrus communis (European pear)RosaceaeOther
Rollinia mucosaAnnonaceaeOther
Rubus rosifolius (roseleaf raspberry)RosaceaeOther
Solanum laciniatum (kangaroo apple)SolanaceaeOther
Solanum lycopersicum (tomato)SolanaceaeOther
Solanum seaforthianum (Brazilian nightshade)SolanaceaeOther
Spondias mombin (hog plum)AnacardiaceaeOther
Spondias purpurea (red mombin)AnacardiaceaeOther
Synsepalum dulcificumSapotaceaeOther
Syzygium aqueum (watery rose-apple)LithomyrtusOther
Syzygium jambos (rose apple)LithomyrtusOther
Syzygium malaccense (Malay apple)LithomyrtusOther
Syzygium paniculatum (australian brush-cherry)LithomyrtusOther
Syzygium samarangense (water apple)LithomyrtusOther
TerminaliaCombretaceaeWild host
Terminalia catappa (Singapore almond)CombretaceaeWild host
Vitis labrusca (fox grape)VitaceaeOther
Ziziphus jujuba (common jujube)RhamnaceaeOther

Growth Stages

Top of page
Fruiting stage


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

List of Symptoms/Signs

Top of page
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
Whole plant / plant dead; dieback

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 7-30 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).

Most Bactrocera species (whose behaviour has been observed) mate at dusk, including the very closely related B. tryoni, but B. neohumeralis mates at midday (Smith, 1979).

Natural enemies

Top of page
Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Dipterophagus daci Parasite Adults
Fopius schlingeri Parasite Arthropods|Larvae

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). Wharton (1999) has recently described a new species of Braconid from B. neohumeralis but it is almost certainly also attacked by a similar range of species to B. tryoni. The adults are also attacked by Stylops species (Drew and Allwood, 1985).

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

Top of page
VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
AircraftWith fruit cargo Yes
Clothing, footwear and possessionsFruit in case or handbag. Yes
Containers and packaging - woodOf fruit cargo. Yes
Land vehiclesLorries, with fruit cargo. Yes
MailFruit in post. Yes
Ship structures above the water lineWith fruit cargo Yes
Soil, sand and gravelRisk of puparia in soil. Yes

Plant Trade

Top of page
Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Fruits (inc. pods) arthropods/eggs; arthropods/larvae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Growing medium accompanying plants arthropods/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
B. neohumeralis is a major pest of commercial fruit crops in Queensland, Australia, and in some crops it occurs in equal abundance to B. tryoni (Drew, 1982a).

Detection and Inspection

Top of page

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, 1982b). Flies may also be attracted to coloured sticky traps, and bright yellow traps appear to be preferred (Hill and Hooper, 1984). 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 (for example, 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
The B. tryoni species group (see Morphology Section) also includes B. aquilonis in northern areas of Australia and B. tryoni, which has a very similar distribution to B. neohumeralis. However, these species both have yellow postpronota.

Prevention and Control

Top of page

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.

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 (for example, 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.


Top of page

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.

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.

Armstrong KF, Cameron CM, Frampton ER, 1997. Fruit fly (Diptera: Tephritidae) species identification: a rapid molecular diagnostic technique for quarantine application. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 87(2):111-118; 33 ref.

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.

Drew RAI, 1982. I. Taxonomy, 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,1-97.

Drew RAI, 1982. I. Taxonomy, In: Drew RAI, Hooper, GHS, Bateman MA, eds. Economic Fruit Flies of the South Pacific Region. 2nd ed. Brisbane, Australia: Queensland Department of Primary Industries, 1-97.

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, Allwood AJ, 1985. A new family of Strepsiptera parasitizing fruit flies (Tephritidae) in Australia. Systematic Entomology, 10(2):129-134

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.

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.

Hill AR, Hooper GHS, 1984. Attractiveness of various colours to Australian tephritid fruit flies in the field. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 35(2):119-128

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

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.

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 PH, 1979. Genetic manipulation of the circadian clock's timing of sexual behaviour in the Queensland fruit flies, Dacus tryoni and Dacus neohumeralis. Physiological Entomology, 4(1):71-78

Tenakanai D, 1997, Fruit fly fauna in Papua New Guinea, In: Allwood AJ, Drew RAI, eds. Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific. A Regional Symposium, Nadi, Fiji. ACIAR Proceedings, 76:87-94.

Wharton RA, 1999. A review of the Old World genus Fopius Wharton (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Opiinae), with description of two new species reared from fruit-infesting Tephritidae (Diptera). Journal of Hymenoptera Research, 8(1):48-64; 33 ref.

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.

Distribution References

CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI

CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status inferred from regional distribution. Wallingford, UK: CABI

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

Leblanc L, Vueti E T, Drew R A I, Allwood A J, 2012. Host plant records for fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae: Dacini) in the Pacific Islands. [Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society], 44 USA: Hawaiian Entomological Society. 11-53.

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map
Select a dataset
Map Legends
  • CABI Summary Records
Map Filters
Third party data sources: