Pacific Fruit Fly Project

Pacifly is the Pacific 's fruit fly web page which contains information about economic and non economic species of fruit flies in all the Pacific Island Countries and Territorries. Fruitflies are serious pests throughout tropical and sub tropical countries. They constitute of one of the worlds major insect pest in fresh fruits and fleshy vegetables. In every PICT, there is at least one damaging endemic fruit fly species present. Fruitflies cause direct losses to  fruit production and  in instances  where exotic species became established in a country, very expensive eradication programes had to be carried out. The Pacifly aims to provide detailed information of everything related to Fruit flies.

Bactrocera musae (Tryon) - BANANA FLY
Monday, 21 January 2013 10:36

Banana fly (Photo: S. Wilson)

DISTRIBUTION: Widespread and very common along eastern coast of Queensland, from Townsville north to Torres Strait islands, in Australia, and in Papua New Guinea (mainland, East New Britain and Lihir Island). Recorded in literature to be present in Bismarck Archipelago (PNG), Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, but never trapped or reared from banana samples in recent years, except in East New Britain and Lihir. In 1999, it was trapped and bred from bananas in East New Britain Province, and is widespread over most of the Gazelle Peninsula. It may have been introduced with infested bananas brought from Mainland PNG as food relief after the devastating 1994 volcanic eruption in Rabaul. Breeding populations also occur on Lihir Island (New Ireland Province).

HOST PLANTS: This species attacks bananas (Musa spp) and has occasionally been bred from a few other plants. In Papua New Guinea, it has been bred from eating and cooking bananas (Musa x paradisiaca) and once from papaya (Carica papaya). In Australia, 12 host species have been recorded, from 10 genera and 9 families, but the majority of records are from bananas (Hancock et al, 2000).

BIOLOGY: Adults mate at dusk. Female flies lay 7-12 eggs per fruit. They often oviposit in green and young bananas, and egg hatch may be delayed for up to 11 days while the host fruit is maturing. Laboratory colonies are kept in Papua New Guinea for biological and heat tolerance research.

ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE: Mean percent of ripe fingers infested by banana fly larvae in Papua New Guinea are 10-40% in Oro Province, 22.9% in Port Moresby and 17.6% in Morobe.

MALE LURE: Methyl eugenol.

QUARANTINE SURVEILLANCE: Methyl eugenol trapping and regular host fruit surveys of bananas.

OPTIONS FOR RESPONSE (If newly discovered in a country): Increased trapping, increased host fruit sampling, restriction of fruit movement, protein bait spraying, male annihilation.

CONTROL: Bagging of whole bunch, protein bait spraying, destruction of fallen and overripe fruits, early harvest of mature green fruits.

, A.J. 2001. Report. assessment of the status of banana fruit fly (Bactrocera musae (Tryon)) in East New Britain and nearby islands and the prospects for its eradication. (1-9 December 2000). PNG Fruit Fly Project Report.  
Drew, R.A.I. 1989.The tropical fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae: Dacinae) of the Australasian and Oceanian regions. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. Volume 26. 521 pp. (Description and illustration).
Hancock, D.L., Hamacek, E., Lloyd, A.C., Elson-Harris, M.M. 2000. The distribution and host plants of fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) in Australia. Queensland Department of Primary Industries. Information Series QI99067. 75 pp.
, E.S.C. 1977. A fruit fly trapping programme in the Northern Province. Science in New Guinea. 5: 38-42. (Seasonal abundance).
, E.S.C. 1977. Studies on the biology and commodity control of the banana fruit fly, Dacus musae (Tryon) in Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea Agriculture Journal. 28: 47-56.