Resolution of Cryptic Species Complexes of Tephritid Pests to Overcome Constraints to SIT Application and International Trade (D41023)
Research have demonstrated that the Oriental fruit fly, the Philippine fruit fly, the Invasive fruit fly, the Asian Papaya fruit fly are all the same biological species and have now been combined under the single name: Bactrocera dorsalis or the Oriental fruit fly. (Photo Credit: Ana Rodriguez)
A global research effort has finally resolved a major biosecurity issue: four of the world’s most destructive agricultural pests are actually one and the same.
For twenty years some of the world’s most damaging pest fruit flies have been almost impossible to distinguish from each other. The ability to identify pests is central to quarantine, trade, pest management and basic research.
In 2009 a coordinated research effort, "Resolution of Cryptic Species Complexes of Tephritid Pests to Overcome Constraints to SIT Application and International Trade (D41023)", got underway to definitively answer this question by resolving the differences, if any, between four of the most destructive fruit flies: the Oriental fruit fly, the Philippine fruit fly, the Invasive fruit fly and the Asian Papaya fruit fly.
These species cause incalculable damage to horticultural industries and food security across Africa, Asia and the Pacific.
More information can be found be in various press releases below:
- FAO press release: Four in one – new discovery on pest fruit flies.
- International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) press release: Four devastating fruit flies pests are one and the same species .
- US newspaper article: Scientists catch fruit fly disguising itself as four distinct species.
- Australian Press Release: What’s in a name? Everything - if you’re a fruit fly.
- Wiley Online Library: 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.