What are fruit flies?
Why keep fruit fly out of Tasmania?
What types of fruit and vegetable are susceptible?
Legal responsibilities in relation to fruit fly
How could fruit fly be introduced into Tasmania?
What do fruit flies look like?
The fruit fly surveillance program
Message for home gardeners and block owners
If there were an outbreak of fruit fly in Tasmania, would this pest establish here in Tasmania?
How can the public help?
What are fruit flies attracted to? Are they attracted to over-ripe fruit on trees, fallen fruit and /or discarded fruit in piles, pits or compost heaps?
How many grubs would we expect in a single piece of infected fruit (i.e. if this is from one infected piece of fruit how many flies could there be)?
What fruit is capable of harbouring fruit fly?
There are around 80 species of fruit fly on the Australian mainland. The two that cause most damage are:
The cost of fruit fly to producers where it exists on the mainland is substantial. That cost includes:
See below for a more comprehensive list.
Fruit fly is declared as a List A pest under the Plant Quarantine Act 1997. People are required by law to report promptly any signs of fruit fly on their property. If you see anything suspicious on your property, you should call the Hobart Quarantine Centre on 6233 3352 without delay.
There are also legal restrictions on people bringing fruit and vegetables into Tasmania. In short, people are not allowed to bring fruit or vegetables with them when they come to, or return to, Tasmania. Quarantine Tasmania ensures everyone coming into Tasmania is fully aware that they may not bring fruit or vegetables with them – and prosecutes those who fail to comply.
Commercial shipments of some types of fruit and vegetables are allowed if and only if they comply with Quarantine Tasmania’s strict biosecurity requirements (see Plant Quarantine Manual for import requirements). All fruit and vegetables require special certification from the State of Origin.
It is possible, but unlikely, that mature fruit flies could be brought across Bass Strait on the ferry or by plane.
The distance across Bass Strait is such that mature fruit flies being blown over from the mainland is considered highly unlikely.
A mature fruit fly is around 7mm long and is reddish brown with some yellow markings.
Fruit fly larvae look like blowfly maggots. Mature lavage are 8-11mm in length and 1.2-1.5mm in width. They are usually easy to see in the flesh of the fruit.
A key sign of fruit fly is a series of “stings” visible on the outside of the fruit. A “sting” is a puncture mark caused when a female adult lays eggs into the fruit. If you open up the “sting” carefully with a sharp knife, you should see a cavity containing eggs or the debris of hatched eggs – you would probably need a magnifying glass to see it.
Whatever you do, do NOT dispose of any fruit that has a grub you think might be fruit fly. You would be given instructions on what to do when you report to the DPIPWE 1800 084 881 number. In most cases, you would be asked to place it in a plastic bag or plastic container and put it in your fridge until a Quarantine Tasmania officer collects it.
What are fruit flies attracted to? Are they attracted to over-ripe fruit on trees, fallen fruit and /or discarded fruit in piles, pits or compost heaps?Female fruit flies lay eggs in maturing and ripe fruit on the tree. The skin of the fruit needs to be soft enough for the fly to pierce the skin with her ovipositor. Lesions in damaged fruit can also facilitate egg-laying. The larvae (maggots) tunnel into the fruit causing rotting, and so infected fruit often falls to the ground prematurely. Maggots continue to develop in fallen fruit, which is why collecting and destroying all fallen and rotting fruit is important. This fruit must be treated by boiling, or freezing, or placed in a sealed plastic bag inside a second sealed plastic bag and left to sit in the sun for two weeks. Alternatively fruit can be placed in a plastic bag with insecticide dust and buried deeply. Infected fruit must not be disposed of in compost heaps.
How many grubs would we expect in a single piece of infected fruit (i.e. if this is from one infected piece of fruit how many flies could there be)?The number of grubs in a single piece of fruit varies from as little as 1 to more than 60, however typically we would expect to find 4-20 grubs in each piece of infected fruit.
Anacardium occidentale (cashew nut), Annona glabra (pond apple), Annona muricata (soursop), Annona reticulata (bullock's heart), Averrhoa carambola (carambola), Capsicum annuum (bell pepper), Carica papaya (papaw), Casimiroa edulis (white sapote), Chrysophyllum cainito (caimito), Coffea arabica (arabica coffee), Eriobotrya japonica (loquat), Eugenia uniflora (surinam cherry), Fortunella japonica (round kumquat), Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato), Malus sylvestris (crab-apple tree), Mangifera indica (mango), Manilkara zapota (sapodilla), Morus nigra (black mulberry), Passiflora edulis (passionfruit), Passiflora suberosa (Corky passionflower), Prunus persica (peach), Psidium cattleianum (strawberry guava), Psidium guajava (guava), Syzygium aqueum (watery rose-apple), Syzygium jambos (rose apple), Syzygium malaccense (malay-apple), Terminalia catappa (Singapore almond)
Aegle marmelos (golden apple), Annona squamosa (sugarapple), Averrhoa bilimbi (blimbe), Blighia sapida (Akee apple), Calophyllum inophyllum (Alexandrian laurel), Cananga odorata (perfume tree), Citrus aurantiifolia (lime), Citrus aurantium (sour orange), Citrus jambhiri (rough lemon), Citrus limetta (sweet lemon tree), Citrus limon (lemon), Citrus maxima (pummelo), Citrus medica (citron), Citrus reticulata (mandarin), Citrus sinensis (navel orange), Citrus x paradisi (grapefruit), Clausena lansium (wampi), Cucurbita moschata (pumpkin), Cydonia oblonga (quince), Cyphomandra betacea (tree tomato), Dimocarpus longan (longan tree), Diospyros blancoi (mabolo), Diospyros kaki (persimmon), Dovyalis caffra (kei apple), Eremocitrus glauca (Australian desert lime), Eugenia dombeyi (brazil cherry), Feijoa sellowiana (Horn of plenty), Ficus racemosa (cluster tree), Flacourtia jangomas (Indian plum), Flacourtia rukam (rukam), Fortunella x crassifolia (meiwa kumquat), Grewia asiatica (phalsa), Juglans regia (walnut), Litchi chinensis (lichi), Malpighia emarginata, Mimusops elengi (spanish cherry), Momordica charantia (bitter gourd), Morus alba (mora), Musa x paradisiaca (plantain), Myrciaria cauliflora (jaboticaba), Nephelium lappaceum (rambutan), Nerium oleander (oleander), Olea europaea subsp. europaea (olive), Opuntia ficus-indica (prickly pear), Passiflora foetida (red fruit passion flower), Passiflora quadrangularis (giant granadilla), Persea americana (avocado), Phoenix dactylifera (date-palm), Phyllanthus acidus (star gooseberry), Physalis peruviana (cape gooseberry), Pometia pinnata (fijian longan), Pouteria caimito, Pouteria campechiana (canistel), Pouteria sapota (mammey sapote), Prunus armeniaca (apricot), Prunus avium (sweet cherry), Prunus cerasifera (myrobalan plum), Prunus domestica (plum), Prunus salicina (Japanese plum), Psidium guineense (Guinea guava), Punica granatum (pomegranate), Pyrus communis (European pear), Rollinia mucosa, Rollinia pulchrinervis, Rubus fruticosus (blackberry), Rubus ursinus (boysenberry), Solanum laciniatum (kangaroo apple), Solanum melongena (aubergine), Solanum seaforthianum (star potato-vine), Solanum torvum (turkey berry), Spondias mombin (hog plum), Spondias purpurea (red mombin), Synsepalum dulcificum, Syzygium cumini (black plum), Syzygium paniculatum (Australian brush-cherry), Syzygium samarangense (water apple), Thevetia peruviana (exile tree), Trichosanthes cucumerina var. anguinea (snakegourd), Vitis labrusca (fox grape), Vitis vinifera (grapevine), Ziziphus mauritiana (jujube).
If you see what you think might be fruit fly grubs in any fruit, please contact us anyway (1800 084 881).
Contact: Quarantine TasmaniaQuarantine Tasmania
163 - 169 Main Road
Moonah TAS 7009
Phone: 03 6233 3352
Fax: 03 6234 6785
Tasmania Online | Service Tasmania
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