EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 10 - 2014 Num. article: 2014/188

Synonymization of Bactrocera papayae, B. philippinensis, and B. invadens with Bactrocera dorsalis

Bactrocera papayae, Bactrocera philippinensis, Bactrocera carambolae and Bactrocera invadens are four fruit fly species that are highly similar, morphologically and genetically, to Bactrocera dorsalis (Diptera: Tephritidae – all EPPO A1 List). This similarity has rendered the discovery of reliable diagnostic characters problematic, which, in view of the economic importance of these taxa and the international trade implications, has resulted in on-going difficulties in many areas of plant protection, including plant quarantine, pest distributions, integrated pest management, and fundamental research. Consequently, a major international collaborative and multidisciplinary research effort was initiated in 2009 to build upon existing literature with the specific aim of resolving species limits among B. papayae, B. philippinensis, B. carambolae, B. invadens and B. dorsalis.

Multiple lines of evidence across a range of different disciplines (morphology, molecular genetics and phylogenetics, cytogenetics, sexual compatibility, chemoecology, host plants) undertaken by independent groups of researchers from all continents and covering a period of 20 years have led to the following conclusions:
- B. papayae, B. philippinensis, and B. invadens are synonymized with B. dorsalis, and a redescription of B. dorsalis is provided.
- B. carambolae remains a distinct species.

Although they were not the focus of the present review, two additional Bactrocera species were mentioned, B. occipitalis and B. kandiensis, but as they possess subtle differences in morphology and molecular genetics, they are still considered to be distinct species. Finally, it is noted that the synonymization of B. invadens and B. papayae with B. dorsalis (B. philippinensis occurs only in the Philippines), considerably expends the known distribution of B. dorsalis. These major changes in taxonomy and geographical distributions will be included in due course in the EPPO databases (PQR and EPPO Global Database).


Schutze MK, Aketarawong N, Amornsak W, Armstrong KF, Augustinos AA, Barr N, Bo W, Bourtzis K, Boykin LM, Cáceres C, Cameron SLChapman T, Chinvinijkul S, Chomič A, De Meyer M, Drosopoulos E, Englezou A, Ekesi S, Gariou-Papalexiou A, Geib SM, Hailstones D, Hasanuzzaman M, Haymer D, Hee AKW, Hendrichs J, Jessup AW, Ji QG, Khamis FM, Krosch MN, Leblanc L, Mahmood K, Malacrida AR, Mavragani-Tsipidou P, Mwatawala M, Nishida R, Ono H, Reyes J, Dubinoff D, San Jose M, Shelly TE, Srikachar S, Tan KH, Thanaphum S, Haq I, Vijaysegaran S, Wee SL, Yesmin F, Zacharopoulou A, Clarke AR (2014) Synonymization of key pest species within the Bactrocera dorsalis species complex (Diptera: Tephritidae): taxonomic changes based on a review of 20 years of integrative morphological, molecular, cytogenetic, behavioural and chemoecological data. Systematic Entomology. doi: 10.1111/syen.12113