Asian fruit fly

Asian fruit fly

Bactrocera invadens

Common name:

Asian fruit fly

Scientific name:

Bactrocera invadens

Alternative common names:


Asian fruit fly is the world’s worst destructive pest of fruit and vegetables. Of major concern is the increase in trade and tourism as this increases the risk of infested fruit being carried across South African borders. It is an offence to import plants and plant material into South Africa without authorisation. Luggage is frequently scanned or sniffed by sniffer dogs to detect fruit and other plant products.

Additional Information

Where does this species come from?


What is its invasive status in South Africa?

NEMBA Category 1a.

Where in South Africa is it a problem?

Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Gauteng and KwaZulu -Natal.

How does it spread?

Through the international movement of infested fruits.

Why is it a problem?

It infests commercial fruit crops.

What does it look like?

Description: The male is red-brown with a reddish-yellow face and an oval black spot in each antennal furrow. Its head has a vertical length of 1.62mm. The wing length is between 5.4-6.9mm. The abdomen is oval and terga free. The female is similar to the male except its oviscape is orange-brown, tending to fuscous apically, while dorsoventrally compressed and tapering posteriorly in the dorsal view.

Habitat: It is likely to be found in any areas where suitable host fruits are available, including natural and man-made habitats such as orchards and gardens.

Breeding: Mated females deposit eggs within the flesh of the fruit on a host plant. Larvae hatch in a few days and burrow into the interior of the fruit to feed on the pulp for 4-12 days. The larvae then drop from the fruit to pupate in the soil. Adults emerge 7-10 days later and feed for a period of time before mating. Many generations are possible annually.

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