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Liriomyza sativae in Torres Strait

Publication Date
Tue, 28 Oct 2014, 00:00
Last Updated
July 6, 2023, 5:55 a.m.
Report Number
Pest Id
Liriomyza sativae - (LIRISA)
Report Status
Confirmed hosts include: tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo), castor oil (Ricinus communis), Chinese lantern/oseberry (Physalis angulata), squash (Cucurbita maxima), Sesbania grandiflora and siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum).
Geographical Distribution
Islands in the Torres Strait in small scale community gardens and in unmanaged populations of Ricinus communis. A single population of vegetable leaf miner was detected on Warraber (Sue) Island in 2008 and later found to be no longer present. It has subsequently been detected on eight islands: Mabuiag (Jervis), Warraber (Sue), Masig (Yorke), Poruma (Coconut), Iama (Yam) and Erub (Darnley) Islands in the Torres Strait Protected Zone; and Ngurupai (Horn) and Waiben (Thursday) Islands in the Special Quarantine Zone. It is suspected to be present on two islands: Muralag (Prince of Wales) and Kirriri (Hammond) Islands in the Special Quarantine Zone. It is not known to occur on other Torres Strait islands, mainland Australia or Tasmania. Torres Strait is located more than 600 km from the nearest commercial production area at Lakeland Downs, north of Cairns. Movement of risk material from the Torres Strait to mainland Australia is regulated under the Commonwealth of Australia’s Quarantine Act 1908 (see attached maps). The pest is also contained with the Cape York Targeted Pest Quarantine Area, and is a notifiable pest under the Queensland Plant Protection Act 1989. Under this legislation, the pest or a plant infested with the targeted pest, cannot be moved within or out of the quarantine area without an inspector’s approval, and the presence of the pest must be reported to a plant health inspector within 24 hours of a person becoming aware of it. The islands of the Torres Strait, while part of Australia, hold a special quarantine designation. Under the Quarantine Act 1908, no plant or animal material or soil can be moved from Torres Strait islands to the Australian mainland without meeting quarantine regulations. This is in recognition of the additional risk posed by proximity to Papua New Guinea and the relative freedom of movement of indigenous people between Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait Protected Zone. Live animals and live plants are not permitted to be moved from Papua New Guinea to Torres Strait at any time.

Eradication of Liriomyza sativae from Torres Strait is not considered technically feasible and phytosanitary measures have been implemented to prevent the spread of the pest to the Australian mainland and Tasmania. Annual plant health surveys are conducted throughout Northern Australia and Torres Strait to monitor target pests, including Liriomyza sativae. The pest is wind borne and can be moved by humans on plant material.

Liriomyza sativae is a polyphagous pest of many vegetable and flower crops. It has been recorded from nine plant families, although its preferred hosts tend to be in the Cucurbitaceae, Fabaceae and Solanaceae families. It is a pest of economic importance and has the potential to become economically damaging to a wide variety of ornamental and common horticultural crops.
Contact for info
Chief Plant Protection Officer Australian Government Department of Agriculture GPO Box 858 Canberra ACT 2601
Report files

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