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

Banana pests

High priority exotic pests

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

The climate of Australian banana production regions would allow each of the pests listed 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 banana, contact Australian Banana Growers’ Council for a copy of the industry biosecurity plan.

Video on tropical race 4 Panama disease

The National Banana Extension and Development Project has produced video about tropical race 4 Panama disease (Fusarium wilt). This video is on the Biosecurity Queensland Youtube channel and the Australian Banana Growers Council website. The biosecurity measures suggested in this video are also effective for other diseases (caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses) that can be transmitted in soil, water and plant material.

Watch the video now

 

Banana bract mosaic disease

Banana bract mosaic disease

Photo by John Thomas

  • virus: Banana bract mosaic virus (Potyvirus)
  • found in India, the Philippines and Sri Lanka
  • dark red-brown pattern on flower bracts
  • green or red streaks on leaf midribs
  • severe infection leads to fruit rejection
  • can be symptomless
  • spread by aphids

Fact sheet

Banana freckle – Cavendish strain

Banana freckle Cavendish strain

Photo by Yuan-Min Shen, Taichung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station, Bugwood.org

 

  • fungus: Guignardia musae
  • found in South East Asia
  • infects leaves and fruit
  • numerous minute dark spots
  • severe infection causes leaf yellowing
  • can lead to wilting and death of the plant
  • spread by spores on wet surfaces

Fact sheet

Black sigatoka

black sigatoka

Photo by Fred Brooks, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Bugwood.org

  • fungus: Mycosphaerella fijiensis
  • widespread worldwide
  • similar to yellow Sigatoka
  • narrow streaks, brown lesions
  • heavily infected leaves die
  • favours hot, wet, windy conditions
  • spread by spores on infected plant parts, soil, wind or water

Fact sheet

Blood disease

Blood disease

Photo by Jeff Daniels

  • bacterium: blood disease bacterium
  • similar to Moko disease
  • found in Indonesia
  • affects all plant parts
  • internal discolouration
  • black, shrivelled flower buds
  • wilting of leaves
  • spread in infected plant parts, soil, water and by insects

Fact sheet

Banana skipper butterfly

Banana skipper butterfly

Photo by Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental, Bugwood.org

  • butterfly: Erionota thrax
  • also known as banana leafroller
  • found in South East Asia, Papua New Guinea and Pacific
  • brown butterfly with three yellow-white areas on wings
  • eggs on lower leaf surfaces
  • larvae covered by white powder
  • caterpillars eat leaves and cause rolling
  • affects bunch size

Fact sheet

Eumusae leaf spot

Eumusae leaf spot

Photo by Juliane Henderson

  • fungus: Mycosphaerella eumusae
  • found in South East Asia, India and Africa
  • symptoms similar to yellow and black Sigatoka
  • streaks and dark spotting on leaves
  • favours hot, wet and humid conditions
  • spread by spores on infected plant parts, soil, wind or water
  • laboratory testing for diagnosis essential

Fact sheet

Moko

Moko

Photo by Dr Richard I. Davis, PaDIL

  • bacterium: Ralstonia solanacearumrace 2
  • found in Central and South America, Jamaica and the Philippines
  • similar to blood disease
  • internal discolouration of fruit
  • yellowing, wilting of leaves
  • black, shrivelled flower buds
  • spread in infected plant parts, soil, water and by insects

Fact sheet

Banana spider mite

Banana spider mite

Photo by Jeff Daniels

  • mite: Tetranychus piercei
  • attacks tropical fruit crops overseas
  • closely related to two-spotted spider mite
  • nymphs and adults spin webs
  • yellow spots on leaves
  • all parts of plant affected
  • fruit ripening delayed, yield reduced

Fact sheet

Banana Xanthomonas wilt

Banana Xanthomonas wilt

Photo by Anthony Young

  • bacterium: Xanthomonas vasicola pv. musacearum
  • found in Central Africa
  • yellowish ooze from cut tissue
  • pink discolouration of internal tissue
  • wilting of leaves
  • can kill whole plants within a month
  • spread in infected plant parts, soil, water and by insects

Fact sheet

Pest threats under active control in Australia

Panama disease (Fusarium wilt, tropical race 4)

Panama disease

Photo by Jeff Daniels

  • fungus: Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (tropical race 4)
  • attacks Cavendish in tropical regions
  • marginal yellowing of leaves
  • leaves turn brown, dry and collapse
  • skirt of dead leaves around plant
  • discolouration of cut stem and corm
  • spread in plant parts, suckers, soil or water
  • persists in soil for many years

Fact sheet

Biosecurity Queensland YouTube video

Bunchy top disease

Bunchy top disease

Photo by Jeff Daniels

  • virus: Banana bunchy top virus (Babuvirus)
  • found in southern Queensland, New South Wales, West Papua and widespread in South East Asia
  • dark green dot-dash flecks along leaf veins
  • emerging leaves become bunched
  • plants stunted
  • spread in infected plant parts and by aphids

Fact sheet

Remain observant for anything unusual in your plantation 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.