Exotic pests are not currently present in Australia. The pests listed here have the potential to enter and become established in vegetable production regions. Each of these pests could have a high economic impact on vegetable production if they were to become established.
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 growers of onions and potatoes, high priority pests are identified in specific industry biosecurity plans. Please contact Onions Australia or AUSVEG to obtain this information and to read the on-farm biosecurity practices recommended for these crops.
Photo by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, United States, Bugwood.org
Carrot rust fly
Found in Europe, Canada, USA, New Zealand
Attacks carrots, parsnips, celery and parsley
Adult fly (6-8 mm in length) has a black body, reddish head, yellow legs and transparent wings
Damage caused by larvae, which are up to 1 cm in length and have a white-yellow cylindrical body without a distinctive head
Plant symptoms include irregular brown channels under the root surface, root deformation, leaf discolouration, reduction in plant growth and occasionally plant death
Priority alert pests for the Northern Adelaide Plains
Alert pests are those present in Australia, but have not yet become established on the Northern Adelaide Plains. If any of these pests are detected in the region, they should be reported immediately to ensure vegetable production in the area is not negatively affected by their establishment.
Ceratitis capitata. Photo by Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
Queensland fruit fly and Mediterranean fruit fly
Bactrocera tyroni (Queensland fruit fly; Qfly) and Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly; Medfly)
Qfly is found in Eastern Australia and Medfly is found in Western Australia
Maggots found in fresh fruit and vegetables may be that of Qfly or Medfly
Qfly is wasp like, red-brown with yellow marks and is about 8 mm long
Medfly is 3-5 mm long, light brown with mottled wings that have distinct brown bands extending to the wing tips
After laying eggs in the fruit, some necrosis may be visible around the puncture mark. This may be followed by decomposition of the fruit
Pests in this category are present in Australia and on the Northern Adelaide Plains. They are pests causing on-going problems in the region and are expensive or difficult to manage. The presence of these pests has forced specific monitoring and scouting, as they affect both the quality and yield of vegetables. Monitoring for the presence and life stages of these pests will allow for the most effective management procedures to be put in place.
Frankliniella occidentalis. Photo by Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org
Western flower thrips
Attacks a very wide range of vegetables, weeds and ornamentals
Insects are tiny and yellow to brown in colour
Can transmit a range of tospoviruses, including Tomato spotted wilt virus, which reduces tomato, capsicum, and eggplant quality and yield
Symptoms of infestation vary depending on the host
Fruit may become distorted or split
Thrips feeding symptoms include silvering, malformation and feeding scars
Spread by people movement, wind and infested plant material