Bactrocera dorsalis, also known as the oriental fruit fly, is a species of insect in the family Tephritidae. It is native to Southeast Asia, but has been introduced to many other parts of the world, where it has become a major pest of fruit crops. The adult fly is about 8-10 mm long and has a brownish-yellow body with black markings on the thorax and wings. The larvae are cream-colored and legless, and can be found inside infested fruit.
Bactrocera dorsalis feeds on a wide variety of fruits, including citrus, stone fruits, berries, and melons. The females lay their eggs inside the fruit, and the larvae hatch and feed on the fruit from the inside, causing it to rot and become unmarketable. This can result in significant losses for fruit and vegetable growers.
REACT will develop and test genetic techniques offering a potential way to control pests like Bactrocera dorsalis without the need for chemical insecticides, which can have negative effects on the environment and human health. One approach is to use genetic engineering to create sterile male flies. These males can be released into the wild, where they will mate with wild females but produce no offspring. This can help to reduce the population size of the pest over time.
For more information on the Bactrocera dorsalis see its datasheet on the Homepage of the European and Mediterannean Plant Protection Organization or on the CABI Digital Library.