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

Cherry pests


High priority exotic pests

The following are some of the high priority exotic pests of cherries, as identified in the development of the Industry Biosecurity Plan for the Cherry Industry. Additional information is included in the fact sheets.

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 pest threats for cherries, contact Cherry Growers of Australia for a copy of the industry biosecurity plan.

Plum curculio

Plum curculio-1949055

Conotrachelus nenuphar. Photo by E. Levine, The Ohio State University,

  • Damaging weevil pest of cherries in North America
  • Weevils are about 5 mm long and grey-brown coloured with four pairs of ridges on the forewings
  • Adult weevils can cause scarring and oviposition wounds on fruit and may cause some marginal damage to leaves and blossoms
  • Larval feeding causes internal fruit damage leading to fruit drop
  • Most likely dispersal over long distances is through movement of packing material contaminated with adult weevils

Fact sheet

Spotted winged drosophila (Drosophila suzukii)

Spotted winged drosophila

Photo by John Davis

  • Attacks a range of soft skinned fruit species
  • Egg deposition and larval feeding can occur in maturing, firm fruit
  • Small (2-3 mm in length) flies with yellow-brown colouring, dark bands on the abdomens and red eyes
  • Males have a dark spot on the tip of their forewings
  • Larvae feed internally on fruit, are cream coloured and about 3 mm long
  • Secondary infections can occur at egg laying sites, leading to fruit rot
  • Flies spread throughout crops by flight or longer distances with infested plant material

Fact sheet

Exotic leaf rollers

Exotic leaf rollers-5211083

Planotortrix spp. Photo by Cheryl Moorehead,

  • Includes Green headed-, Brown headed- and Oblique-banded- leaf rollers
  • GHLR moths are 7-14 mm in length and females have dark brown zig-zag markings and a dark spot on the forewings
  • BHLR moths are 8-12 mm long with brown wings with a dark oblique mark halfway down the edge of each forewing
  • OBLR moths are 16-30 mm long and have reddish-brown wings with strong diagonal bands and a semicircular spot at the wing edge
  • Leaf rolling is the obvious symptom though fruit scarring or larval holes in cherries may also be seen
  • OBLR are found in North America whilst GHLR and BHLR are only found in New Zealand

Fact sheet

Plum pox virus

Plum pox virus-0660085

Plum pox virus. Potyvirus. Biologische Bundesanstalt fur Land-und Forstwirtschaft Archive,

  • Also known as Sharka, the virus affects numerous Prunus sp.
  • Symptoms are highly variable but may appear on trunks, leaves or fruit
  • Leaves may show yellow spots, bands or rings and vein clearing
  • Fruit or stones can have a mottled or spotted appearance
  • Trunks can split and fruit may drop prematurely
  • Spread locally by aphid vectors, but long distance dispersal occurs through movement of infected propagation material

Fact sheet

Apple maggot

apple maggot-5402800

Rhagoletis pomonella. Joesph Berger,

  • Serious fruit fly pest of North America
  • Larvae are cream coloured (up to 10 mm long) and leave a brown trail through fruit flesh
  • Small black fly (up to 5 mm long) with yellowish head and legs, a white spot on the back and four irregular or zigzag black bands on the wings
  • Sunken dimple-like spots and discolourations develop on the surface of fruit following egg laying and larval feeding
  • Damaged fruit drop prematurely

Fact sheet

Cherry X disease

cherry X disease-0725025

X disease Phytoplasma. F. Dosba, INRA, Bordeaux,

  • Serious pest of cherry orchards in California
  • Leaf rolling and/or spotting may occur and leaf veins may swell
  • In mature trees, leaf yellowing is followed by leaf fall, with only a few rosettes remaining at the tips of shoots
  • Fruit are often small, pointed and distorted and are pale red to greenish white in colour
  • Young trees typically die soon after the first symptoms are observed
  • Can be transmitted by budding or grafting but transmission by leafhoppers is the most important means of dispersal

Fact sheet

Look 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.