The population structure of a tephritid pest species, the Queensland fruit fly Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt), has been analysed over a five year period (1994–1998), using six microsatellites. Adult fly samples were collected to cover most regions of eastern and central Australia where the flies are regularly found. Tests for heterogeneity indicated that flies within geographically defined regions were homogeneous. The samples were allocated into five regions, including one very large region, Queensland, which encompasses that portion of the fly‘s range where breeding can occur year-round. With one exception, the collections from different regions were homogeneous between years, showing a fairly static distribution of the species. However, differences between regions were highly significant. The one case of a change in frequency between years indicated a gradual replacement of flies in a marginal region by flies from the main part of the range. The finding of stability in the distribution of a highly mobile insect is of interest, potentially also for other species which have expanded beyond their native range. It is argued that a contributing reason for this stability may be adaptation to different climatic regimes, and that strategies for control based on this hypothesis afford a reasonable chance of success.