EPPO Global Database

Bactrocera latifrons(DACULA)

EPPO Datasheet: Bactrocera latifrons

Last updated: 2021-04-28


Preferred name: Bactrocera latifrons
Authority: (Hendel)
Taxonomic position: Animalia: Arthropoda: Hexapoda: Insecta: Diptera: Tephritidae
Other scientific names: Chaetodacus antennalis Shiraki, Chaetodacus latifrons Hendel, Dacus latifrons (Hendel)
Common names in English: Malaysian fruit fly, solanum fruit fly
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Notes on taxonomy and nomenclature

Bactrocera parvula was considered synonymous of B. latifrons, but re-instated as a valid species by Drew & Romig (2013).

EPPO Categorization: A1 list
EU Categorization: A1 Quarantine pest (Annex II A)
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HOSTS 2021-04-27

Bactrocera latifrons predominantly infests Solanaceae and is considered a major pest of Capsicum and Solanum species (Drew & Romig, 2013). In addition, it is reported from a various number of other plant families.  The USDA Compendium of Fruit Fly Host Information (CoFFHI) (McQuate & Liquido 2016) provides an extensive host list with detailed references.

Host list: Baccaurea motleyana, Benincasa hispida, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum baccatum, Capsicum chinense, Capsicum frutescens, Chionanthus parkinsonii, Citrullus lanatus, Citrus x aurantiifolia, Coccinia grandis, Coffea arabica, Cucumis dipsaceus, Cucumis melo, Cucumis sativus, Diplocyclos palmatus, Gmelina philippensis, Lagenaria siceraria, Lagerstroemia indica, Lycianthes biflora, Lycianthes macrodon, Momordica trifoliolata, Murraya paniculata, Passiflora foetida, Persea americana, Physalis peruviana, Psidium guajava, Punica granatum, Sapindus rarak, Solanum aculeatissimum, Solanum aethiopicum, Solanum americanum, Solanum anguivi, Solanum donianum, Solanum erianthum, Solanum granuloso-leprosum, Solanum incanum, Solanum lanceifolium, Solanum lasiocarpum, Solanum linnaeanum, Solanum lycopersicum, Solanum macrocarpon, Solanum mammosum, Solanum melongena, Solanum nigrescens, Solanum nigrum, Solanum pimpinellifolium, Solanum pseudocapsicum, Solanum scabrum, Solanum sisymbriifolium, Solanum stramoniifolium, Solanum torvum, Solanum trilobatum, Solanum viarum, Solanum violaceum, Solanum virginianum, Syzygium samarangense, Terminalia catappa, Ziziphus jujuba, Ziziphus mauritiana, Ziziphus nummularia


Bactrocera latifrons is an Asian species widespread from the Indian subcontinent across Southeast Asia (Drew & Romig, 2013). However, because of the re-instatement of B. parvula as a distinct species (see Drew & Romig, 2013) the presence in Taiwan needs to be re-assessed. In recent surveys (Doorenweerd et al., 2019), B. latifrons was not detected in Taiwan.

B. latifrons was introduced into Hawaii, with a first detection in 1983 (Vargas & Nishida, 1985). It was introduced into Africa, with a first report in Tanzania in 2006 (Mwatawala et al., 2007). Records so far show only a limited spread in Africa with records from Burundi, Kenya, and Tanzania. B. latifrons was recorded from Yonaguni (Okinawa Prefecture, Ryukyu Islands) in Japan. Eradication programs were conducted in this area of Japan, and the species was declared eradicated in 2011 (Fukugasako & Okamoto, 2012). However, since 2010 B. latifrons has been detected on several of the other Ryukyu Islands and again in Yonaguni in 2018 (Taniguchi et al., 2018).

EPPO Region: France (mainland)
Africa: Burundi, Congo, Democratic republic of the, Kenya, Tanzania
Asia: Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Jiangxi, Xianggang (Hong Kong), Yunnan), East Timor, India (Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Mizoram, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal), Indonesia (Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Sumatra), Japan (Ryukyu Archipelago), Laos, Malaysia (Sabah, West), Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam
North America: United States of America (Hawaii)

BIOLOGY 2021-04-27

The general life cycle is similar to those of other Bactrocera species infesting fruits: eggs are laid below the skin of the host fruit. Three larval stages develop inside the fruit, feeding on the plant tissue. Once mature the third instar larva will leave the fruit, dig down into the soil and turn into a pupa enclosed in a puparium. The adult fly will emerge from the puparium. Bactrocera latifrons can complete its life cycle in about 21-24 days (Vargas & Nishida, 1985a; Srikachar et al., 2010), with egg incubation taking about 2-3 days, while larval stage lasts about 8-10 days. Duration of the pupal stage is about 10-14 days. Longevity records vary: Vargas et al. (1997) report that adult female longevity can vary between 15 to 80 days depending on the temperature, while Srikachar et al. (2010) give an average longevity 131 to 148 days for male and female specimens respectively. Vargas et al. (1996) indicate that reproduction is suppressed at 16°C and larval survival rate at that temperature was limited to 2.6%. Takano (2014) showed that an extended period at 8°C kills the majority of the flies (95% mortality after 13 days). Shimizu et al. (2007) suggest that B. latifrons can overwinter as an adult in areas where winter conditions occur.



Attacked fruit have tiny oviposition punctures, but these and other symptoms of damage are often difficult to detect in the early stages of infestation. Considerable damage may occur inside the fruit before symptoms are visible externally, often as networks of tunnels accompanied by rotting.



Fruit fly larvae in general have a typical shape, i.e., cylindrical maggot-shape, elongate, anterior end narrowed and somewhat recurved ventrally, with anterior mouth hooks, and flattened caudal end. Their length varies from 5 to 15 mm. Identification to species level is not possible based on larvae. The 3rd-instar larvae have been described by White & Elson-Harris (1992) and Carroll et al. (2004). The former work provides a key to 3rd-instar larvae which is useful for an identification to genus level. in addition, a key to this and other tephritids for the 3rd-instar larvae is available in Balmès & Mouttet (2017) and White & Elson-Harris (1992).

Adult (after diagnostic description given by Drew & Romig, 2013. Additional character states after White, 2006)


Face fulvous with a pair of large oval black spots; postpronotal lobes and notopleura yellow; scutum dull black; lateral postsutural yellow vittae present; medial postsutural yellow vitta absent; no yellow spot anterior to notopleural suture; mesopleural stripe extending to anterior notopleural seta dorsally; scutellum yellow; legs with all segments fulvous except hind tibiae fuscous; femora sometimes with a dark preapical marking; mid tibiae each with an apical black spur; wing with cells bc and c colourless, microtrichia in outer corner of cell c only; a narrow fuscous costal band slightly overlapping R2+3 and expanding into a small spot around apex of R4+5; a medium-width fuscous anal streak; all abdominal terga entirely dark orange-brown; abdominal sterna pale, generally red-brown. 


As for male in the general body colour patterns. Pecten absent from abdominal tergum III. Ovipositor basal segment fuscous to black, dorsoventrally compressed and tapering posteriorly in dorsal view; ratio of length of oviscape to length of tergum V, 0.5:1; aculeus apex trilobed. 

Remark: a diagnostic protocol for this species has been published by EPPO (2020). 

DNA barcoding

DNA barcoding may be used for the molecular identification of B. latifrons, however the Barcoding Index Number Systems (BINs) in which this species is represented, also include a few unidentified / possibly misidentified reference sequences. However, at present no DNA barcodes are available for the closely related species B. parvula. Sequences are available in the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) and EPPO-Q-Bank

Detection and inspection methods

Male specimens can be attracted by latilure (α-ionol) enhanced with cade oil (McQuate et al., 2004). However, experiments in Tanzania using this lure were not very successful (Mziray et al., 2010). In recent years several 3-oxygenated α-ionone analogs and other related compounds were isolated and shown to act as a stronger attractant than latilure (Nishida & Tan, 2016). Both sexes can be monitored by traps baited with protein-based attractants. Detection is also possible by examination of fruit for oviposition punctures and then rearing the larvae through to the adult stage.


Transport of infested fruits is the main means of movement and dispersal to previously uninfested areas. Adult flight can also result in dispersal but previous citations of long (50-100 km) dispersal movements for Bactrocera spp. are unsubstantiated according to a recent review by Hicks et al. (2019). Dispersal up to 2 km is considered more typical.


Economic impact

Bactrocera latifrons is mainly a pest species of solanaceous crops. While in some places the economic damage appears to be limited (e.g. McQuate et al., 2004), sometimes high infestation rates are recorded. For example, Vijaysegaran & Osman (1991) report 60-80% infestation of chilies in Malaysia.


Management for this species includes the general control measures for Bactrocera spp. (see Vargas et al. 2015 for an overview of management options). These include sanitation (to gather all fallen and infested host fruits and destroy them). Insecticidal protection is possible by using a cover spray or a bait spray. Bait sprays work on the principle that both male and female tephritids are strongly attracted to a protein source from which ammonia emanates. Bait sprays have the advantage over cover sprays in that they can be applied as a spot treatment so that the flies are attracted to the insecticide and there is minimal impact on natural enemies and other beneficials. 

SIT (Sterile Insect Technique) application specifically for this species was used, in combination with other control methods (bait spraying, host plant removal) at Yonaguni Island (Japan) and resulted in eradication (Fukugasako & Okamoto, 2012. But see above under Geographical distribution).  

Phytosanitary risk

Bactrocera latifrons is a known pest of several commercial fruit crops in the area where it is present. It can be moved in trade with infested fruit. No detailed study has been made on climatic suitability of the EPPO region for this species; there is only a CLIMEX based predictive model of this species in China (Ma et al., 2012). This model indicates that the projected distribution in this country is below 33.442°N. Vargas et al. (1996) indicated that B. latifrons is adapted to a relative narrower range of temperatures compared to other fruit fly species in Hawaii. This and the reduced larval and adult survival rates at lower temperature (see above, under biology) may give indications that the major part of the EPPO region is largely unsuitable for permanent establishment of B. latifrons. However, even transient populations could have impacts on export of host fruit from the EPPO region.  The EFSA Panel on Plant Health, in their Pest Categorization of non-EU Tephritidae (EFSA, 2020) placed B. latifrons on the list of fruit flies that satisfy the criteria to be regarded as a potential Union quarantine pest for the EU.


Consignments of fruits from countries or regions where B. latifrons occurs should be inspected for symptoms of infestation and those suspected should be cut open in order to look for larvae. Possible measures include that such fruits should come from an area where B. latifrons does not occur, or from a place of production found free from the pest by regular inspection in the 3 months before harvest. Plants transported with roots from countries or regions where B. latifrons occurs should be free from soil, or the soil should be treated against puparia. The plants should not carry fruits.

REFERENCES 2021-04-27

Balmès V & Mouttet R (2017) Development and validation of a simplified morphological identification key for larvae of tephritid species most commonly intercepted at import in Europe. EPPO Bulletin 47, 91-99.

Carroll LE, Norrbom AL, Dallwitz MJ & Thompson FC (2004). Pest fruit flies of the world – larvae. Version 9th April 2019. https://www.delta-intkey.com/ffl/www/bac_tryo.htm [accessed 15/11/2020]

Drew RAI & Romig MC (2013) Tropical Fruit Flies of South-East Asia. CABI, Wallingford (UK), vii+653pp. 

Doorenweerd C, Leblanc L, Hsu YF, Huang CL, Lin YC, San Jose M & Rubinoff D (2019) Taiwan's Dacini Fruit Flies: Rare Endemics and Abundant Pests, along Altitudinal Gradients," Pacific Science 73(1), 35-59,. https://doi.org/10.2984/73.1.3

EFSA PLH Panel (EFSA Panel on Plant Health), Bragard C, Dehnen-Schmutz K, Di Serio F, Gonthier P, Jacques MA, Jaques Miret JA, Justesen AF, Magnusson CS, Milonas P, Navas-Cortes JA, Parnell S, Potting R, Reignault PL, Thulke HH, Van der Werf W, Vicent Civera A, Yuen J, Zappalà L, Bali EM, Papadopoulos N, Papanastassiou S, Czwienczek E & MacLeod A (2020) Pest categorization of non-EU Tephritidae. EFSA Journal 18, 5931, 62pp. https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2020.5931

EPPO (2020) Diagnostics PM7/142 (1) Bactrocera latifrons. EPPO Bulletin 50, 41-48.

Fukugasako A & Okamoto M (2012) Achievement of eradication of solanum fruit fly, Bactrocera latifrons (Hendel) from Yonaguni Island, Okinawa. Japanese Plant Protection 66, 13-17 [in Japanese]

Hicks CB, Bloem K, Pallipparambil GR & Hartzog HM (2019) Reported long-distance flight of the invasive Oriental fruit fly and its trade implications. In Area-Wide Management of Fruit Flies (eds Pérez-Staples D, Diaz-Fleischer F, Montoya P. & Vera MT), pp. 9-26. CRC Press, Boca Raton (US) 

Ma X, Li Z, Ni W, Qu W, Wu J, Wan F & Hu X (2012) The current and future potential geographical distribution of the Solanum fruit fly, Bactrocera latifrons (Diptera: Tephritidae) in China. International Federation for Information Processing AICT 368, 236-246.

McQuate GT & Liquido NJ (2016) Provisional list of suitable host plants of Bactrocera (Bactrocera) carambolae (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae), Version 1.0. Available online at USDA Compendium of Fruit Fly Host Information (CoFFHI). https://coffhi.cphst.org/ [accessed 10th March 2020].

McQuate GT, Keum YS, Silva CD, Li QX & Jang EB (2004) Active ingredients in cade oil that synergize attractiveness of alpha-Ionol to male Bactrocera latifrons (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 97, 862-870.

Mwatawala M, De Meyer M, White IM, Maerere A & Makundi RH (2007) Detection of the solanum fruit fly, Bactrocera latifrons (Hendel) in Tanzania (Dipt., Tephritidae). Journal of applied Entomology 131, 501-503.

Mziray HA, Makundi RH, Mwatawala MW, Maerere 1 & De Meyer M (2010) Host use of Bactrocela latifrons (Hendel), a new invasive tephritid species in Tanzania. Journal of Economic Entomology 103(1), 70 – 76. 

Nishida R & Tan KH (2016) Search for new fruit fly attractants from plants: a review. Proceedings of the 9th ISFFEI, 249-262.

Shimizu Y, Kohama T, Uesato T, Matsuyama T & Yamagishi M (2007) Invasion of solanum fruit fly Bactrocera latifrons (Diptera: Tephritidae) to Yonaguni Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Applied Entomology and Zoology 42, 269-275.

Srikachar S, Plodkornburee W & Jamroenma K (2010) Fruit fly on chilli in Thailand: species and its biology. Abstract volume 8th International Symposium on Fruit Flies of Economic Importance, Valencia, 175.

Takano S (2014) Survival of Bactrocera latifrons (Diptera: Tephritidae) adults under constant and fluctuating low temperatures. Applied Entomology and Zoology 49, 411-49.

Taniguchi M, Sadoyama Y & Kawano S (2018) Several findings on avoidance of injured to the Solanum fruit fly in Okinawa Prefecture. Plant Protection 72(9), 558-562.[in Japanese]

Vargas RI & T. Nishida (1985) Life history and demographic parameters of Dacus latifrons (Diptera: Tephritidae). Journal of Economic Entomology 78, 1242–1244.

Vargas RI, Walsh AW, Jang EB, Armstrong JW & Kanehisa D (1996) Survival and development of immature stages of four Hawaiian fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) reared at five constant temperatures. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 89, 64-99.

Vargas RI, Walsh AW, Kanehisa D, Jang EB & Armstrong JW (1997) Demography of four Hawaiian fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) reared at five constant temperatures. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 90, 162-168

Vargas RI, Pinero JC & Leblanc L (2015) An overview of pest species of Bactrocera fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) and the integration of biopesticides with other biological approaches for their management with a focus on the Pacific region. Insects 6, 297-318.

Vijaysegaran S & Osman MS (1991) Fruit flies in Peninsular Malaysia: their economic importance and control strategies. In: Kawasaki, K., O. Iwahashi & K. Kaneshiro (Eds) Proceedings of the International Symposium on Biology and Control of Fruit Flies, Okinawa, 105-115. 

White IM (2006) Taxonomy of the Dacina (Diptera: Tephritidae) of Africa and the Middle East. African Entomology Memoir 2, 156pp.

White IM & Elson-Harris MM (1992) Fruit flies of economic significance: their identification and bionomics. CAB International, Wallingford (UK), xii+601pp

CABI resources used when preparing this datasheet

CABI Datasheet on Pest https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/8719


This datasheet was prepared in 2021 by Dr M. De Meyer. His valuable contribution is gratefully acknowledged.

How to cite this datasheet?

EPPO (2024) Bactrocera latifrons. EPPO datasheets on pests recommended for regulation. https://gd.eppo.int (accessed 2024-04-24)

Datasheet history 2021-04-27

This datasheet was first published online in 2021. It is maintained in an electronic format in the EPPO Global Database. The sections on 'Identity', ‘Hosts’, and 'Geographical distribution' are automatically updated from the database. For other sections, the date of last revision is indicated on the right.