Home NewsAustralia Exotic pest detected near Darwin for first time, worrying mango growers

Exotic pest detected near Darwin for first time, worrying mango growers

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An unique plant pest generally known as mango shoot looper has been formally detected within the Northern Territory for the primary time, placing the area’s mango trade on alert.  

The moth species, initially from Asia, had not been present in Australia till a detection in Queensland in September. 

When in its caterpillar type, mango shoot loopers feed on mango tree leaves, shoots, flowers, and immature fruit. 

The pest was discovered on a farm within the Darwin rural space in late March, with DNA sequencing confirming the species in April. 

Northern Territory senior principal entomologist Brian Thistleton instructed ABC Rural the mango shoot looper might have been within the area for some time. 

“We had all types of studies of elevated [pest] exercise … the issue is we could not truly name it till we received a specimen and a confirmed identification,” Dr Thistleton mentioned.

He mentioned injury by mango shoot loopers in Queensland had not been “as extreme” as first thought. 

“I have been instructed by entomologists in Queensland that [the damage] is aggregated into sure locations, not proper by means of the orchard. You get little spots with the shoot looper,” he mentioned. 

Mango shoot loopers additionally assault lychee timber, however there are not any business lychee growers within the NT. 

a number of caterpillars eating mango leaves and fruit.
Mango shoot loopers eat leaves, shoots and fruit.(Provided: Queensland Division of Agriculture)

Biosecurity menace

The Australian Mango Trade Affiliation moved shortly to tell NT growers in regards to the pest and insecticides available to growers.

NT Farmers Affiliation chief government Paul Burke mentioned the organisation’s employees had been elevating consciousness in regards to the pest.

“We’ll proceed to intently work with the Division of Trade’s biosecurity crew to safeguard the trade from the mango shoot looper menace,” he mentioned.  

“Within the pursuits of Territory farmers and the financial system, it’s important that biosecurity threats corresponding to mango shoot looper are quickly recognized and managed. 

“If mango shoot looper shouldn’t be successfully managed, it would probably scale back farmers’ income and the expansion of the trade within the Territory.”

Mango shoot looper is an emergency plant pest. When you suspect an infestation, contact the Unique Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

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