Body predominantly black or dark fuscous, or a balanced mixture of black and yellow. Face with transverse sulcus, or with distinct antennal grooves and carina with dark spots in antennal furrows. Thorax with scutum black with orange to red-brown areas, or black. Number of pale whitish to yellow postsutural stripes two (lateral). Lateral postsutural stripes of scutum extending to intra-alar bristles or beyond. Legs with femora all entirely of one colour. Wings with ratio of width of apical band in cell r4+5 to length of r-m 0.25–0.33. Abdominal tergites with medial dark stripe on T3-T5 and a transverse dark line on T3. Female terminalia with r Ratio of syntergosternite 7 to abdominal tergite 5 0.7–0.75. Aculeus length 1.4–1.6 mm.
L.E. Carrol, I.M. White, A. Friedberg, A.L. Norrbom, M.J. Dallwitz and F.C. Thompson (2002 onwards). Pest Fruit Flies of the World: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. Version: 8th August 2002.
Four members of the Bactrocera dorsalis complex are difficult or impossible to separate based on morphology alone, especially when only a limited sample of males is examined: Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), Bactrocera papayae Drew & Hancock, Bactrocera philippinensis Drew & Hancock, and Bactrocera carambolae Drew & Hancock.