Bactrocera passiflorae (Fijian fruit fly)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Plant Trade
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Bactrocera passiflorae (Froggatt)
Preferred Common Name
- Fijian fruit fly
Other Scientific Names
- Bactrocera (Bactrocera) passiflorae (Froggatt)
- Chaetodacus passiflorae (Froggatt)
- Dacus passiflorae Froggatt
- Strumeta passiflorae (Froggatt)
- BCTRPA (Bactrocera passiflorae)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Diptera
- Family: Tephritidae
- Genus: Bactrocera
- Species: Bactrocera passiflorae
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page B. passiflorae was first described by Froggatt in 1911. There are no synonyms but it has been used in some other generic combinations, most notably Dacus passiflorae. It is a member of subgenus Bactrocera and is therefore sometimes cited as Bactrocera (Bactrocera) passiflorae.
DescriptionTop of page Adult description derived from computer-generated description from White and Hancock (1997). Larval description from White and Elson-Harris (1994).
Head: Pedicel+1st flagellomere not longer than ptilinal suture. Face without a dark spot in each antennal furrow, or a line across mouth. Frons - 2 pairs frontal setae; 1 pair orbital setae.
Thorax: Predominant colour black. Postpronotal (=humeral) lobe black. Notopleuron yellow. Scutum without lateral postsutural vittae (yellow/orange stripes). Scutum without a medial vitta or stripe. Scutellum yellow. Anepisternal stripe almost to postpronotal lobe above, but not extended down onto katepisternum. Yellow marking on both anatergite and katatergite. Postpronotal lobe (=humerus) without a seta. Notopleuron with anterior seta. Scutum with anterior supra-alar setae and prescutellar acrostichal setae. Scutellum without basal setae.
Wing: Length 3.2-5.4 mm. With a complete costal band; depth not below R2+3; not expanded into a spot at apex. Cells bc and c not coloured. No transverse markings. Cells bc and c without extensive covering of microtrichia. Cell br (narrowed part) with extensive covering of microtrichia.
Legs: All femora yellow or pale.
Abdomen: Predominant colour red-brown to black. Tergites not fused. Abdomen not wasp waisted. Pattern variable; tergite 3 either all dark or dark basally/laterally; tergite 4 either all dark or dark laterally; pale form may have a medial stripe on T3-5.
Terminalia and secondary sexual characters: Male wing without a bulla. Male tergite 3 with a pecten (setal comb) on each side. Male sternite 5 V-shaped posteriorly. Surstylus (male) without a long posterior lobe. Wing (male) with a deep indent in posterior margin. Hind tibia (male) with a preapical pad. Aculeus apex pointed.
The egg of B. olae was described in detail by Margaritis (1985) and that 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 elctron microscope examination). White to yellow-white in colour.
Third instar larva: Larvae medium-sized, length 8.0-9.5 mm; width 1.2-1.5 mm. Head: Stomal sensory organs each with 4-6 sensilla (some long, some short) surrounded by 5-6 large unserrated preoral lobes; oral ridges with 9-13 rows of stout, almost parallel-sided, bluntly rounded teeth; accessory plates small, serrated, arranged along outer edges of oral ridges; mouthhooks moderately sclerotized, each with a curved, slender apical tooth. Thoracic and abdominal segments: Anterior margin of T1 with an encircling band of sharply pointed spinules, with 5-8 rows dorsally, 4-6 rows laterally and 4-8 rows ventrally; T2 with 3-5 rows of slightly smaller spinules encircling segment; T3 without spinules. Creeping welts of 10-13 rows of small sharply pointed spinules with 1 posterior row of slightly stouter spinules. A8 with small intermediate areas and small, well defined tubercles and sensilla, some of which are long and tapering. Anterior spiracles: 9-13 tubules. Posterior spiracles: Each spiracular slit about 3 times as long as broad with a sclerotised rima. Dorsal and ventral spiracular hair bundles of 9-16 hairs, lateral bundles of 4-8 hairs. Anal area: Lobes large, protuberant, surrounded by 3-6 discontinuous rows of small, stout, sharply pointed spinules concentrating into stouter spinules just below anal opening.
Barrel-shaped with most larval features unrecognisable, the exception being the anterior and posterior spiracles which are little changed by pupariation. White to yellow-brown in colour. Usually about 60-80% length of larva.
DistributionTop of page B. passiflorae has a very localized Pacific distribution which was mapped by Drew (1982). In Tonga it is restricted to the northernmost islands, Niuatoputapu and Niuaf'ou (Litsinger et al., 1991). Records from Tuvalu are based on misidentifications of a similar but as yet undescribed species (Tora Vueti et al., 1997).
Distribution TableTop 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.
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Fiji||Widespread||Tora Vueti, 1997; EPPO, 2014|
|Niue||Present||Heimonana et al., 1997a; EPPO, 2014|
|Tonga||Present||Heimonana et al., 1997a; EPPO, 2014|
|Wallis and Futuna Islands||Present||Tora Vueti, 1997|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page The major risk is from the import of fruit containing larvae, either as part of cargo, or through the smuggling of fruit in airline passenger baggage or mail. For example, in New Zealand Baker and Cowley (1991) recorded 7-33 interceptions of fruit flies per year in cargo and 10-28 per year in passenger baggage. Private individuals who successfully smuggle fruit are likely to discard it when they discover that it is rotten. An isolated catch of B. passiflorae in cue lure baited traps in New Zeland (R.A.I. Drew, Queensland Department of Primary Industries, Australia, personal communication, 1996) probably had an origin of this sort.
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page Although the total host list of B. passiflorae is small, this is thought to be due to the small range of fruits found within its small geographic range; the taxonomic diversity of its hosts suggests that it could attack a very wide range of fruits if they became available to it. Discussions with specialists (I.M. White, IIE, personal communication, 1996) indicate that this species is regarded as a very serious plant quarantine threat to other Pacific islands, as well as to countries in Asia and Australasia. The species has been recorded from fao (Ochrosia oppositifolia) (Litsinger et al., 1991) but it probably has a wider range of wild hosts.
The host list was derived from Clausen et al. (1965), Drew (1989) and Litsinger et al. (1991) by White and Elson-Harris (1994). The eggplant record has been questioned (A.J. Allwood and I.M. White, IIE, personal communication, 1991) and that may have been an aberrant host. There are also records, requiring confirmation, from coffee, Malay-apple (Syzygium malaccense), Pacific lychee (Pometia pinnata) and strawberry guava (Psidium littorale) (sources listed in White and Elson-Harris, 1994).
Growth StagesTop of page Fruiting stage
SymptomsTop of page Following oviposition there may be some necrosis around the puncture mark ("sting"). This is followed by decompostion of the fruit.
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Fruit / internal feeding|
|Fruit / lesions: black or brown|
|Fruit / premature drop|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
No details are available for B. passiflorae. However the following general description represents a typical Bactrocera sp. Eggs are laid below the skin of the host fruit. These hatch within 1-2 days and the larvae feed for another week or more. Pupariation is in the soil under the host plant for a week or more but may be delayed for several weeks under cool conditions. Adults occur throughout the year and begin mating after about 2 weeks (Christenson and Foote, 1960). Adult flight and the transport of infected fruit are the major means of movement and dispersal to previously uninfected areas. Males are attracted to cue lure.
[Erratum: In previous versions of this datasheet, it was stated that “many Bactrocera spp. can fly 50-100 km (Fletcher, 1989)” but a review of Fletcher (1989a) and Fletcher (1989b) by Hicks (2016, unpublished data, USDA) found no evidence to support this statement and it has been removed. Fletcher (1989b) provides dispersal data for only 11 of 651 species of Bactrocera, many of the case studies lack the necessary numerical data, and the study did not discern between active flight and passive wind-assisted dispersal. There are differences among fruit fly species and further studies are required to determine dispersal distances for individual species. For further information on trapping Bactrocera species to monitor movement, see Weldon et al. (2014).]
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Aceratoneuromyia indica||Parasite||Larvae||Western Samoa||fruits|
|Dirhinus giffardii||Parasite||Western Samoa||fruits|
|Tetrastichus giffardianus||Parasite||Larvae||Western Samoa||fruits|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page Bactrocera spp. can be attacked as larvae either by parasitoids or by vertebrates eating fruit (either on the tree or as fallen fruit). Mortality due to vertebrate fruit consumption can be very high as can puparial mortality in the soil, either due to predation or environmental mortality (see White and Elson-Harris, 1994, for brief review). Parasitoids appear to have little effect on the populations of most fruit flies and Fletcher (1987) noted that 0-30% levels of parasitism are typical. To date complete biological control, in the classical sense, has never been achieved for any Bactrocera or Dacus spp. (Wharton, 1989). Nonetheless, biological control programmes can result in significant reduction in pest populations. Such reductions have led to relatively pest-free cultivation of at least some less susceptible varieties of fruits and vegetables. Due to difficulties in verifying the identifications of both parasitoids and (in some cases) the fruit fly hosts, no attempt has been made to catalogue all natural enemy records; see White and Elson-Harris (1994) for major sources. Consequently, no comprehensive list of parasitoid records is given here. However, the short list of species native to or established in Fiji was extracted from Wharton and Gilstrap (1983) and Waterhouse (1993). Some of the species introduced into Fiji cannot definitely be associated with B. passiflorae as the records do not distinguish the host species. This is indicated with "?this host" in the table. Biological control introductions into Fiji were made against this host and B. xanthodes.
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility 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|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches|
|True seeds (inc. grain)|
ImpactTop of page The economic impact of B. passiflorae is not documented clearly. However, as with most pest Bactrocera spp., damage levels can be anything up to 100% of unprotected fruit.
Detection and InspectionTop of page Fruits (locally grown or samples of fruit imports) should be inspected for puncture marks and any associated necrosis. Suspect fruits should be cut open and checked for larvae. Larval identification is difficult, so if time allows, mature larvae should be transferred to sawdust (or 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. Detection is described under Early Warning Systems.
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page B. passiflorae is one of two pest Bactrocera spp. which have a completely yellow (or at least pale) face, i.e. without either a dark spot in each antennal furrow or a dark transverse line above the mouth, combined with a lack of the two bright yellow stripes on the scutum (dorsum of thorax) that is common to most Bactrocera spp., the other being B. melanotus from the Cook Islands. However, B. passiflorae has completely dark postpronotal (=humeral) lobes, yellow notopleural lobes, and a yellow scutellum (B. melanotus is the converse in all of these characters). About house fly size, wing length 3.2-5.4 mm.
The minimum characters which differentiate B. passiflorae from all other Bactrocera and Dacus spp. (White and Hancock, 1997) are as follows. Face without a black spot in each antennal furrow. Postpronotal (=humeral) lobe entirely dark. Katepisternum without any yellow mark. Hind femur yellow. With anterior supra-alar setae. Without basal scutellar setae.
Prevention and ControlTop 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.
Control of Pacific fruit flies was reviewed by Allwood (1997).
Releases have been made against fruit flies in Fiji and these are summarized under the section on Natural Enemies. Levels of parasitism vary from 4.5% for native fruits such as Pacific lychee to a maximum of 61.3% in an introduced fruit such as strawberry guava (Waterhouse, 1993).
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; Armstrong, 1997). Irradiation is not accepted in most countries and fumigation is a hazardous operation. Heat treatment tends to reduce the shelf life of most fruits and so the most effective method of regulatory control is to preferentially 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. Little information is available on the attack time for most fruits, but few Bactrocera spp. attack prior to ripening.
Although cover sprays of entire crops are sometimes used, the use of bait sprays is both more economical and more environmentally acceptable. A bait spray consists of a suitable insecticide (e.g. malathion) mixed with a protein bait. Both males and females of fruit flies are attracted to protein sources emanating 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 and so highly phytotoxic. Smith and Nannan (1988) have developed a system using autolysed protein. In some areas this has been developed into a very effective commercial product derived from brewery waste, for example, in Tonga (Heimoana et al., 1997b).
The males of most pest species of Bactrocera are attracted to either cue lure (4-(p-acetoxyphenyl)-2-butanone) or to methyl eugenol (4-allyl-1,2-dimethoxybenzene). Males of B. passiflorae are attracted to cue lure. On a small scale many farmers use male suppression as a control technique; however, with flies attracted over a few hundred metres the traps may be responsible for increasing the fly level (at least of males) on a crop as much as for reducing it. However, the technique has been used as an eradication technique (male annihilation), in combination with bait (Bateman, 1982).
Early Warning Systems
Many coutries that are free of Bactrocera spp., e.g. USA (California and Florida) and New Zealand maintain a grid of methyl eugenol and cue lure traps, at least in high risk areas (ports and airports) if not around the entire climatically suitable area. The trap used will usually be modelled on the Steiner trap (White and Elson-Harris, 1994).
Monitoring is largely carried out by traps (as above) set in 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.
ReferencesTop 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.
Baker RT; Cowley JM, 1991. A New Zealand view of quarantine security with special reference to fruit flies, In: Vijaysegaran S, Ibrahim AG, eds. First International Symposium on Fruit Flies in the Tropics, Kuala Lumpur, 1988. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, 396-408.
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.
Clausen CP; Clancy DW; Chock QC, 1965. Biological Control of the Oriental fruit fly (Dacus dorsalis Hendel) and Other Fruit Flies in Hawaii. United States Department of Agriculture, Technical Bulletin, No. 1322.
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.
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
Fletcher BS, 1989. Ecology; life history strategies of tephritid fruit flies, In: Robinson AS, Hooper G, eds. Fruit Flies; their Biology, Natural Enemies and Control. World Crop Pests. Amsterdam, Holland: Elsevier, 3(B):195-208.
Fletcher BS, 1989. Movements of tephritid fruit flies. In: Fruit Flies; their Biology, Natural Enemies and Control. World Crop Pests [ed. by Robinson, A. S., Hooper, G.]. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Elsevier Science Publishers, 209-219.
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.
Heimoana V; Tunupop F; Toleafoa E; Fakanaiki C, 1997. The fruit fly fauna of Tonga, Western Samoa, American Samoa and Niue. In: Allwood AJ, Drew RAI, eds. Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific. A Regional Symposium, Nadi, Fiji. ACIAR Proceedings, 76:57-59.
Litsinger JA; Fakalata OK; Faluku TL; Crooker PS; Keyserlingk N von, 1991. A study of fruit fly species (Tephritidae) occurring in the Kindom of Tonga, In: Vijaysegaran S, Ibrahim AG (eds), First International Symposium on Fruit Flies in the Tropics, Kuala Lumpur, 1988. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, 71-80.
Tora Vueti E; Allwood AJ; Leweniqila L; Ralulu L; Balawakula A; Malau A; Sales F; Peleti K, 1997. Fruit fly fauna in Fiji, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna, Tokelau and Nauru. In: Allwood AJ, Drew RAI, eds. Management of Fruit Flies in the Pacific. A Regional Symposium, Nadi, Fiji. ACIAR Proceedings, 76:60-63.
Waterhouse DF, 1993. The Major Arthropod Pests and Weeds of Agriculture in Southeast Asia. ACIAR Monograph No. 21. Canberra, Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 141 pp.
Weldon CW; Schutze MK; Karsten M, 2014. Trapping to monitor tephritid movement: results, best practice, and assessment of alternatives. In: Trapping and the detection, control, and regulation of Tephritid fruit flies: lures, aarea-wide programs, and trade implications [ed. by Shelly T, Epsky N, Jang EB, Reyes-Flores J, Vargas R]. New York, USA: Springer, 175-217.
Wharton RA; Gilstrap FE, 1983. Key to and status of opiine braconid (Hymenoptera) parasitoids used in biological control of Ceratitis and Dacus s.l. (Diptera: Tephritidae). Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 76(4):721-742
Wharton RH, 1989. Control; classical biological control of fruit-infesting Tephritidae, In: Robinson AS, Hooper G, eds. Fruit Flies; their Biology, Natural Enemies and Control. World Crop Pests 3(B). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier, 303-313.
Distribution MapsTop of page
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