Fruit flies in the genus Bactrocera are global, economically important pests of agricultural food crops. However, basic life history information about these pests, which is vital for designing more effective control methods, is currently lacking. Artificial diets can be used as a suitable replacement for natural host plants for rearing fruit flies under laboratory conditions, and this study reports on the two-sex life-table parameters of four Bactrocera species (Bactrocera correcta, Bactrocera dorsalis, Bactrocera cucurbitae, and Bactrocera tau) reared on a semi-artificial diet comprising corn flour, banana, sodium benzoate, yeast, sucrose, winding paper, hydrochloric acid and water. The results indicated that the larval development period of B. correcta (6.81 ± 0.65 days) was significantly longer than those of the other species. The fecundity of B. dorsalis (593.60 eggs female−1) was highest among the four species. There were no differences in intrinsic rate of increase (r) and finite rate of increase (λ) among the four species. The gross reproductive rate (GRR) and net reproductive rate (R
0) of B. dorsalis were higher than those of the other species, and the mean generation time (T) of B. cucurbitae (42.08 ± 1.21 h) was longer than that of the other species. We conclude that the semi-artificial diet was most suitable for rearing B. dorsalis, due to its shorter development time and higher fecundity. These results will be useful for future studies of fruit fly management.