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<em>Bactrocera xanthodes</em>

Bactrocera xanthodes

Pacific fruit fly
Previous scientific names: Tephrites (Dacus) xanthodes, Dacus (Tephrites) xanthodes, Chaetodacus xanthodes, Dacus xanthodes, Notodacus xanthodes, Dacus (Notodacus) xanthodes


Morphological – adult

Features include:

  • Medium sized species
  • small black facial spots present
  • postpronotal lobes fulvous except for a broad yellow band on posterior 2/3
  • notopleura orange-brown
  • scutum transparent with a shining orange-brown colouration and with irregular dark markings, broad lateral yellow band running from postpronotal lobe to end just before anterior end of lateral postsutural vitta, large yellow spot on pleural region in place of the normal mesopleural stripe, lateral postsutural vittae present and beginning anterior to mesonotal suture, medial postsutural vitta present, scutellum orange-brown with lateral yellow margins, wing with a narrow fuscous costal band and a broad fulvous anal streak, cells bc and c extremely pale fulvous with microtrichia in outer corner of cell c only, abdominal terga transparent and shining orange-brown with no dark markings
  • posterior lobe of male surstylus short
  • female with apex of aculeus needle shaped (Drew 1989; pers. comm. Drew 2010).

Morphological – larvae

See White and Elson-Harris 1992 p. 249



BsrI: Does not cut

HinfI: 680

HhaI: 670, 200

Sau3AI: Does not cut

SnaBI: Does not cut

SspI: 380, 250

Vspl: Does not cut

Approximate ITS1 fragment length – gel: 860 bp.


AluI, DraI, RsaI and SspI produce diagnostic patterns.

AluI: 700-660, 200,170,130,120,110

RsaI: 750,370,360

SspI: 1200, 210, 80

DraI: 1150-1100, 250-240, <100

Host Range

Polyphagous. Recorded on 34 hosts in 20 families including Anacardiaceae, Annonaceae, Caricaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Lauraceae, Moraceae, Passifloraceae, Rutaceae, Sapotaceae and Solanaceae.

Commercial hosts include mango, custard apple, papaya, breadfruit, jackfruit, citrus, star apple and abiu, but its main host is breadfruit (for a full list of recorded hosts see Leblanc et al. 2012).

Major commercial hosts (Drew 1989; Leblanc et al. 2012):

  • Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit)
  • Carica papaya (pawpaw)


Fiji Islands, Tonga, Niue, Samoa, American Samoa, Wallis and Futuna. Introduced and established in the southern group of Cook Islands and French Polynesia. Introduced on Nauru (first detected in 1992) but subsequently eradicated by male annihilation. (Drew 1989; Leblanc et al. 2012).

Similar species

Bactrocera xanthodes is unique in having postpronotal lobe setae, a medial vitta (sometimes faded and not apparent), joining band between the postpronotal lobe and notopleuron and a large bilobed scutellum. It is similar to the other species in the Notodacus subgenus (B. neoxanthodes, B. paraxanthodes and B. (N.) undescribed species) which are not pests and have limited distributions (Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Samoa respectively) (Hancock and Drew 2017).

Bactrocera xanthodes belongs to subgenus Notodacus, an unusual feature of which is the presence of a seta on each postpronotal lobe (i.e. shoulder). It has a very distinct V-shaped notch in the apex of its scutellum.

Pest Status

  • Exotic
  • Significant pest in the Pacific


Methyl-isoeugenol is a significantly stronger attractant than methyl eugenol (Royer et al. 2018)