Unusual dark forms of the Solanum fruit fly Bactrocera latifrons (Hendel) in Hawaii (Tephritidae: Dacini)

Image credit: C Doorenweerd


The Solanum fruit fly, Bactrocera latifrons (Hendel) is one of four invasive true fruit flies in Hawaii and primarily attacks peppers, tomatoes and other Solanaceae. The University of Hawaii Insect Museum collections hold a greater variation of forms than was described in the literature, which has likely led to some confusion regarding identification and may reflect greater morphological diversity across the range of the species. The abdomen of B. latifrons was initially described as orange-brown without dark markings and the femora were described as all fulvous. We found varying degrees of dark markings on the abdomen and legs in Hawaiian specimens. This variation is figured and we provide a differential diagnosis based on these new findings. We additionally discuss the consequences for diagnostics of this pest, and the possible synonymy with the Taiwanese endemic B. parvula (Hendel) and Indonesian B. pectoralis (Walker).

Proceedings of the Hawaiian Entomological Society
Camiel Doorenweerd
Camiel Doorenweerd
Junior Researcher Insect Systematics and Conservation

My research interests include macro-evolution, speciation, plant-insect interactions, bioinformatics and entomology