Fruit flies assumes economic significance primarily as pests of horticultural crops and also as beneficial weed biocontrol agents. Since fruit flies are pests of quarantine significance, apart from direct loss of yield and increased control costs, it may lead the loss of export markets and/or incur the cost of constructing and maintaining fruit treatment and eradication facilities. The term fruit flies is often confused with Drosophilidae, but true fruit flies belong to family Tephritidae and is one among the 10 families included in superfamily Tephritoidea (Pape et al., 2011). Though the common name " fruit flies" connotes it to be a fruit feeder, it is not true for all species included in this diverse taxon. They exhibit a diverse array of feeding habits which includes frugivores, leaf miners, seed feeders, gall makers; capitulum borers, saprophages and even parasitoids too. They can be easily separated from closely related families like Ulidiidae, Platystomatidae, Pyrgotidae by the combination of characters such as well developed frontal plate and prominent frontal setae, subcostal vein bent sharply anteriorly at right angle before the apex, weakened beyond the bend. In addition, the costa has three breaks viz., costal, humeral and subcostal (Hardy, 1973, 1974), vein R1 dorsally with setulae; wing usually with colour pattern; cell bcu usually with an acute extension (White and Elson–Harris, 1992).
Major works on Indian fauna of Tephritidae include Bezzi (1913), Kapoor (1993), Agarwal and Sueyoshi (2005), Drew and Raghu (2002), David & Ramani (2011). Apart from these, various publications on fauna of south and southeast Asia for example Hardy (1973, 1974); Hancock and McQuire (2002); Drew and Romig (2013; 2016) dealt with species from India too. Through this database we are attempting to document the diversity of fruit flies in India with diagnosis and illustrations so as to facilitate the researchers across the country and abroad to appreciate the biodiversity and also for easy identification. This database features the diagnostics of all the species of fruit flies in India with special emphasis to peninsular India.