The objective of this study was to determine whether a generic diet could be developed for three species of Anastrepha: A. ludens, A. obliqua and A.serpentina. Laboratory and mass-rearing tests to assess the suitability of the A. ludens (Loew) (ALU) diet, normally used for rearing A. ludens, indicated that it was also suitable for rearing A. obliqua (Macquart) and A. serpentina (Wiedemann). Therefore, this diet appeared to be a suitable generic diet for the three species based on quality control parameters. In comparison with those observed when rearing larvae on the commonly used A. obliqua diet, the number of A. obliqua larvae recovered per g diet increased from 4.2 to 5.1, larval weight increased from 17 to 18.2 mg, pupation after 24 h from 89.3 to 96.9%, adult emergence from 91.5 to 93.7% and flight ability (% of fliers) from 86.1 to 90.4% when reared on the ALU diet. Usually, A. serpentina larvae are reared on the A. serpentina diet, but when reared on the ALU diet, larval recovery increased from 61.8 to 69.8%, number of larvae recovered per g diet from 3.7 to 4.4, larval weight from 21.7 to 23.8 mg and flight ability from 64.6 to 70.2%. These results show that the nutritional requirements of the three Anastrepha species are similar. The use of a generic diet for rearing the three species requires only one line to prepare the diet, reducing time and labour costs.