Providing practical information to help you protect your farm from biosecurity risks

Avocado pests

 

High priority exotic pests

The following are some key exotic pests of avocados, as identified through the development of the Industry Biosecurity Plan for the Avocado Industry. Additional information is included in the fact sheets.

The climate of Australian avocado production regions would allow each of these pests to survive, spread and establish, should they be introduced. Any of these pests would have serious consequences should they enter and become established in Australia. Implementing biosecurity measures to control endemic pests will go a long way towards preventing exotic pests from entering and becoming established on your farm.

For a complete list of exotic pests of avocados, contact Avocados Australia for a copy of the industry biosecurity plan.

Avocado scab

Avocado scab-2174097

Sphaceloma perseae. Photo by Cesar Calderon, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org

  • Fungal disease causing fruit drop and marking of mature fruit
  • Discrete spots appear on the leaves along the midrib, which may merge into star-like patterns
  • As disease progresses leaves become distorted and stunted
  • Symptoms on fruit appear as corky, raised brown to purplish brown spots which enlarge to form large rough areas
  • Long distance dispersal likely through infested propagation material

Fact sheet

Avocado seed moth

Avacado seed moth

Stenoma catenifer. Photo by Mark S Hoddle, University of California

  • Pest of avocados in Latin America causing large yield losses
  • Early instar larvae are white but become violet in later instars
  • Adult moths have a ‘C’ shape of black dots across the forewings
  • Moths form galleries in branches causing them to wither
  • Larvae penetrate fruit and destroy seed and pulp through feeding
  • Frass can be seen in fruit when opened, and oozing of a white exudate may occur externally

Fact sheet

Avocado sunblotch

Avocado sunblotch

Avocado sunblotch viroid. Photo by David Rosen, University of California Statewide IPM Project

  • Found sporadically in some areas of Australia
  • Fruit are small and deformed with sunken pale blotches
  • Discolouration and streaking occurs on stems
  • A range of symptoms are seen on leaves though some infected trees remain symptomless
  • Spread through infected seed or using infected scions for grafting

Fact sheet

Avocado thrips

Avocado thrips-1390032

Scirtothrips perseae. Mark S. Hoddle, University of California – Riverside, Bugwood.org

  • Emerging insect pest causing large economic losses in California
  • Adults are straw coloured with dark lines across the abdomen
  • Causes bronzing along leaf veins or over entire leaves under severe infestation
  • Fruit are scarred with a characteristic ‘alligator skin’ appearance
  • Scars elongate as fruit develops causing lower quality fruit
  • Disseminated over long distances on infested avocado plant material

Fact sheet

Laurel wilt

Laurel wilt

Raffaelea lauricola. Photo by Andrew Geering, DEEDI Qld

  • Emerging fungal disease of avocado trees in Florida
  • Spread by the tiny (2 mm long) Redbay ambrosia beetle (exotic)
  • Leaves wilt and foliage drop may follow
  • Xylem tissue becomes dark brown or black
  • Dying trees attract beetles in large numbers and small strings of wood fibre may be seen protruding from bore holes

Fact sheet

Oriental fruit fly complex

Oriental fruit fly complex

Photo by Scott Bauer

  • Includes Oriental, Papaya and Carambola fruit flies
  • Found in Asia, Papua New Guinea, the Pacific, South America
  • Adults 6-8 mm long with a narrow brown band along edge of wings
  • Abdomen has a black T-shaped mark, which is similar to a number of other endemic species
  • Larval feeding can result in rotting of fruit and may cause fruit to drop

Fact sheet

Persea mite

Persea mite

Oligonychus perseae. Photo by Jack Kelly Clark, courtesy University of California Statewide IPM

  • Serious pest in California with a wide host range
  • Adult females are yellowish green with several dark spots in the abdominal region
  • Males are smaller with yellow, pear-shaped bodies
  • Nests form along midribs and veins on the underside of leaves
  • Symptoms can also be seen as necrotic spots covered with a dense protective webbing
  • Defoliation occurs in heavy infestations with a litter of yellow-spotted green leaves under trees

Fact sheet

Remain observant for anything unusual in your orchard and storage facilities. If a pest is found that is not normally present on your property, it may be new not only to your property, but to the region, state or even Australia.