As the second largest organ in insects, the insect midgut is the major tissue involved in the digestion of food and detoxification of xenobiotics, such as insecticides, and the first barrier and target for oral RNA interference (RNAi). In this study, we performed a midgut-specific transcriptome analysis in the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, an economically important worldwide pest, with many populations showing high levels of insecticide resistance. Using high-throughput sequencing, 52 838 060 short reads were generated and assembled to 25 236 unigenes with a mean length of 758 bp. Interestingly, 34 unique sequences encoding digestion enzymes were newly described and these included aminopeptidase and trypsin, genes associated with Bacillus thuringiensis resistance and fitness cost. Second, 41 transcripts were annotated to particular detoxification genes such as glutathione S-transferases, carboxylesterases and cytochrome P450s, and the subsequent phylogenetic analysis indicated homology with tissue-specific and insecticide resistance-related genes of Drosophila melanogaster. Third, we identified the genes involved in the mechanism of RNAi and the uptake of double-stranded RNA. The sequences encoding Dicer-2, R2D2, AGO2, and Eater were confirmed, but SID and SR-CI were absent in the midgut transcriptome. In conclusion, the results provide basic molecular information to better understand the mechanisms of food digestion, insecticide resistance and oral RNAi in this important pest insect in agriculture. Specific genes in these systems can be used in the future as potential targets for pest control, for instance, with RNAi technology.