Skip to content
<em>Bactrocera oleae</em>

Bactrocera oleae

Olive fruit fly
Previous scientific names: Musca oleae Rossi, Musca oleae Gmelin


Morphological – adult

Features include:

  • face fulvous with a pair of black spots
  • scutum black
  • postpronotal lobes and notopleura yellow
  • mesopleural stripe reaching midway between anterior margin of notopleuron and anterior npl. seta
  • lateral and medial postsutural yellow vittae absent
  • scutellum yellow
  • wing with cells bc and c colourless
  • cell sc. fuscous
  • a small fuscous spot around apex of vein R4+5 (costal bland absent)
  • anal streak absent
  • abdominal terga III – V red-brown with dark fuscous to black anterolateral corners on terga III and IV
  • posterior lobe of male surstylus short
  • female with aculeus tip needle shaped

Morphological – larvae

See Pest Fruit Flies of the World – Larvae



BsrI: data not available

HinfI: data not available

HhaI: data not available

Sau3AI: data not available

SnaBI: data not available

SspI: data not available

Vspl: data not available


A combination of AluI, DraI, RsaI and SspI produces a diagnostic pattern.

AluI: 680, 240, 170, 130, 120, 110
DraI: 1120,170, 130, 100
RsaI: 430, 400, 370, 290
SspI: 1150, 350

Host Range

Recorded from family Oleaceae (olives).


EUROPE: Albania, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland
AFRICA: Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Mauritius, Morocco, Réunion Island, Seychelles, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia
ASIA: Georgia, India, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey
AMERICAS: USA (California), Mexico

Similar species

Bactrocera oleae is quite distinct in lacking vittae and having a spot at the apex of the wing. It is superficially similar to B. tuberculata and B. correcta in having a black scutum and spot at the wing apex instead of a costal band, but lacks lateral vittae. It is superficially similar to B. melanotus and B. passiflorae in having a black scutum and lacking lateral vittae, but has an orange brown abdomen with lateral colouring on terga II-IV and a spot at the apex of the wing.

Pest Status

  • Exotic
  • A major pest of olives in the Mediterranean Region


Olive fruit fly lure or protein bait in McPhail traps attracts both sexes. In the USA the latter has been found to be more attractive. Olive fruit fly lure attracts males and females. This lure consists of a sex pheromone (1,7-dioxaspiro [5,5]-undecane) which is more effective for B. oleae males and an ammonium bicarbonate component which is more effective for females (Baker et al. 1980). However in the USA protein bait (torula yeast) in McPhail traps has been found to be a more effective attractant (University of California Integrated Pest Management)