The genus Bactrocera (Tephritidae) contains >500 species, including many severe pests of fruits and vegetables. Although native to tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and Australasia, a number of the pest species, largely members of the Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) complex, have become widespread through accidental introduction associated with agricultural trade. The B. dorsalis complex includes several morphologically and ecologically similar pests, making species designations uncertain. One of these, Bactrocera invadens Drew, Tsuruta, and White, endemic to Sri Lanka, has spread across Africa in the last decade and become a major agricultural pest. We sequenced one mitochondrial and two nuclear genes from 73 specimens, belonging to 19 species to construct phylogenies and examine species relationships and limits within the genus Bactrocera and several species of the B. dorsalis complex-specifically addressing the placement of B. invadens. Results indicate the B. dorsalis complex is polyphyletic. B. invadens and several other species within the B. dorsalis complex (B. dorsalis, Bactrocera papayae Drew &Hancock, and Bactrocera philippinensis Drew & Hancock) are also paraphyletic with respect to each other and probably represent a single genetically indistinguishable, phenotypically plastic, pest species that has spread throughout the world.
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