Online biological databases are a popular method of summarizing and storing scientific information. Invasive species databases are used by risk analysts and policy makers from many counties as their main source of scientific data. A majority of the information found in invasive species databases is useful, but data can be oversimplified and errors do exist. For example, the statement “Many Bactrocera spp. can fly 50–100 km (Fletcher 1989)” is found in multiple invasive species databases and has been repeated in phytosanitary documents written in different countries. This broad statement has been presented to the United States as evidence that they should extend the radii of quarantine areas placed around new detections of the Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), in California from 7.5 to 150 km. In reviewing the available literature, this work finds that the flight distance of 50–100 km for Bactrocera spp. as summarized in invasive species databases cannot be attributed to Brian S. Fletcher. A review of 17 publications describing mark-release-recapture studies or field observations on B. dorsalis showed that long distance (>20 km) captures of the flies do occur, but such captures are atypical and occur only rarely. Dispersal distances up to 2 km are much more typical and commonly reported. Data summarized in invasive species databases on fruit flies may not be precise. Therefore, consideration 10of biological evidence found in the original source material and other scientific publications is also necessary when developing pest-management strategies or phytosanitary policies. Mark-release-recapture studies clearly show that flight capacity differs among Bactrocera species. Although flight capacity is a major factor in determining the size of quarantine areas for fruit flies, host availability, climate suitability, potential pathways, and community demographics are also important risk factors. In California and Florida, B. dorsalis have been captured on a number of occasions in their respective state fruit fly detection trapping networks. However, despite these detections, rapidly delimiting an outbreak, establishing quarantine areas, and when needed implementing additional eradication measures have successfully prevented establishment of this invasive pest and has prevented the export of any infested host fruits from quarantine areas to other countries for more than 30 years. Therefore, trading partners should also consider whether rigorous, established trapping programs are in place and proven response protocols exist when determining the radii of required quarantine zones rather than simply setting standards based on the most distant recapture of a fruit fly species.