Queensland fruit fly found in Western Australia
The discovery of the Queensland fruit fly in Western Australia (WA) means there are now only two states in the country declared to be free of the damaging pest.
The regional Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) confirmed the detection of six Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) in the Perth suburb of Alfred Cove.
Department entomologist Darryl Hardie said two male flies had initially been found on Nov. 18 in surveillance traps which form part of the early warning fruit fly trapping system operated by the department across the state.
The department acted quickly to install supplementary traps, and a further four male flies were caught on Nov. 23 in the same area.
"Qfly is considered Australia’s worst fruit pest, impacting on more than 200 different fruits and some vegetables," Dr Hardie said.
"It attacks a wide range of hosts including citrus, figs, grapes and mangoes which are also attacked by the long established Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) that is endemic in Western Australia except the Ord River Irrigation Area at Kununurra.
"However unlike Medfly, chillies, tomatoes, strawberries, avocados, passionfruit and some vegetables are also attacked by Qfly."
Hardie said Qfly was previously detected in Perth and was successfully eradicated in 1989, 1995 and 2011. It is currently present in all other states except South Australia and Tasmania.
The department is continuing to conduct surveillance and check all traps within a 200 meter radius of where each fly was found to determine the extent of the outbreak.
Hardie added the WA fruit and vegetable industries had been advised of the detection and would work with the department to develop a response plan.
DAFWA said further advice will be provided to industry and the local community as more information becomes available.