DAFWA Tomato-potato psyllid update

Tomato-potato psyllid Industry Update June 2018

The national Transition to management plan aimed to improve the capacity of the horticulture sector to manage TPP, and build confidence around the status of the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CLso) associated with TPP.

Transitioning to management followed national agreement TPP cannot be eradicated and efforts should focus on management.

The Transition to management plan was a national project seeking to benefit both Western Australia where TPP has been detected, and other states not yet managing TPP. The Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development led the implementation of the plan, working closely with industry and the national TPP coordinator appointed through AUSVEG.

The plan included the following major activities:

  • Targeted surveillance for TPP/CLso complex during Spring 2017 and Autumn 2018 in WA
  • Scientific research to improve understanding of TPP, its biology and options for control
  • Management of TPP through the development of national and enterprise management plans
  • Market access and trade.

There have been no detections of CLso in Western Australia to date.

Other states around Australia have also implemented surveillance for TPP. To date, TPP has not been detected outside of Western Australia.

The department is currently compiling the results from the Transition to management plan and will make these available to growers, industries, and state and federal governments as soon as possible. Outcomes from the Transition to management plan will help inform future TPP/CLso research, development and management strategies.

For more information about the plan please contact the National TPP Coordinator, Alan Nankivell on +61 428 260 430  or alan.nankivell@ausveg.com.au.

Click here to view the full update.

Quarantine Area Notice

A new Quarantine Area Notice (QAN) with revised conditions is effective as of 1 November 2017. This replaces the previous QAN which expired on 31 October 2017.

The QAN was developed in consultation with WA’s horticultural industry and applies to commercially-produced and home-grown host plants or nursery stock grown within the Quarantine Area. The new QAN refines and simplifies previous control measures, and aims to minimise the spread of TPP in Western Australia.

Prescribed treatment is required for host plants, such as seedlings or nursery stock, where they are moving from the Quarantine Area to Specified local government areas in Western Australia.

The Quarantine Area includes the Perth metropolitan area and a number of local government areas. See the full list here.

Check and report

Commercial growers are encouraged to continue to check for, and report sightings of unusual insects or damage to their plants through the MyPestGuide reporter app or by contracting the department on 1800 084 881

Good farm biosecurity procedures should be in place to prevent the entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases. More information on biosecurity is available at the Farm Biosecurity website.

For more information on any issues relating to the TPP incursion, please see the DAFWA website.

Advice for growers

TPP can spread through the movement of tomato, capsicum, eggplant, tamarillo and other solanaceous plant material. It can also occur on other hosts including the Convolvulaceae plant family, including sweetpotato, and can disperse through natural pathways such as flight and on the wind. All Western Australian growers of affected crops should check their plants for TPP. More information about the psyllid and the bacterium, including photos to assist with identification, are available on DAFWA’s website.

Any suspected detection of TPP needs to be reported using the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on

1800 084 881 or using DAFWA’s MyPestGuide reporting app.

If you suspect you have seen the psyllid outside of Western Australia, you need to contact your state or territory department of agriculture or primary industries. This can be done by phoning the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

As a general reminder, all growers need to practice sound farm biosecurity to prevent the entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases. Find out more here.

Interstate trade/market access

For more information on interstate trade/market access, click here.

Dickeya dianthicola

What is Dickeya dianthicola

Dickeya dianthicola is a serious bacterium that can cause tuber soft rot and blackleg in potatoes, and can also affect some ornamental varieties, chicory and artichoke.

The bacteria was detected in Australia, for the first time, in June 2017 on a Western Australian commercial potato property. In addition to seed potatoes, the bacteria has since been found in dahlia tubers and freesia bulbs imported from Victoria.

Growers of these crops are urged to check plants and tubers, and report any suspect symptoms.

It is a serious pest (bacterium) that was not previously known to occur in Australia. Overseas data has indicated significant yield losses in potato crops.

Dickeya dianthicola can also infect other crops, including some ornamentals (including carnation, lily, chrysanthemum, dahlia, begonia, flaming Katy, freesia, hyacinth and iris), globe arichoke and chicory.

Other pathogens already present in Australia can cause similar soft rot and blackleg symptoms. However, Dickeya dianthicola is more aggressive and causes disease at lower infection levels.

This pest is not associated with the tomato potato psyllid.

Current response

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD), in conjunction with the Western Australian potato industry, will implement a management strategy for Dickeya dianthicola following a national decision that it cannot be eradicated.

The National Management Group (NMG) decision that the pest is not technically feasible to eradicate is based on the recommendation provided by the Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests.

Quarantine restrictions on five commercial properties in WA have been lifted.

Further tracing activities are being undertaken in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and WA, including testing of available potato tubers, dahlia tubers in Victoria and WA, and freesia bulbs from Victoria.

The Potato Growers Association of WA (PGAWA) will lead management efforts to minimise industry impacts. This will include raising grower awareness of buyer responsibility to understand the risks of spread.

DPIRD will provide technical advice, fee for service laboratory testing and will work with PGAWA to modify the Certified Seed Scheme and Registration Rules to manage the disease.

There are currently no additional interstate trade restrictions being considered for potatoes apart from those restrictions in place for the tomato potato psyllid.

The international market access for WA potatoes remains unaffected.

Trade in cut flowers from WA is already subject to interstate movement conditions for other pests.

The Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will work with overseas trading partners should any issues arise.

The bacterium does not have an impact on human health.

For more information, visit the DPIRD website.

Host list

  • Potatoes
  • Globe artichoke
  • Chicory
  • Begonia
  • Calla lily
  • Carnation
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Dahlia
  • Dianthus, Sweet William
  • Freesia
  • Hyacinth
  • Iris
  • Kalanchoe, ‚ÄėFlaming Katy‚Äô which is also known as ‚ÄėChristmas kalanchoe‚Äô, ‚Äėflorist kalanchoe‚Äô and ‚ÄėMadagascar widow‚Äôs thrill‚Äô


The first symptom of the disease can be poor emergence due to rotting seed tubers. Plants wilt and typically have slimy, wet, black stems extending upwards from the rotting tuber.

Infected tubers are macerated and have a tapioca-like appearance, but may not have the pungent smell associated with typical blackleg.

According to overseas data, Dickeya dianthicola can also cause soft rot and wilting in ornamental crops.

Dickeya dianthicola can be present in a plant without causing symptoms, particularly if temperatures remain low. Symptoms often develop after a period of hot weather, especially when plants are also stressed.

How does it spread?

In potatoes, it is generally accepted the main source for blackleg infection is latently infected seed tubers.

Overseas data indicates that as infected tubers rot, the bacterium is released into the soil. It can then be transmitted through water in the soil and contaminates neighbouring tubers, and infected stems can also affect neighbouring plants through contaminated irrigation water.

Additionally, infection has been shown to spread to other tubers during storage. Overseas research indicates that Dickeya dianthicola does not survive long in soil without a host. Although bacteria can survive between potato crops in soil when there is remaining plant debris or when volunteer potatoes are present.

Management options

Generalised management techniques developed for soft rot diseases in potatoes may be useful for growers affected by Dickeya dianthicola. Refer to the soft rot web pages for further information.

Additionally, on-farm biosecurity practices, such as good farm hygiene and early reporting of suspicious symptoms should be in place to prevent the entry, establishment and spread of pests and diseases. Practical advice and information to assist is available through the Farm Biosecurity website farmbiosecurity.com.au

Reporting options

Dickeya dianthicola (Samson et al. 2005) is a prohibited organism for Western Australia. It is important any suspect disease occurrences are reported.

Growers can report any unusual plant symptoms by:

  • Calling the Pest and Disease Information Service on 1800 084 881, or
  • Sending a photo to DPIRD via the MyPestGuide Reporter app available from the Google Play or Apple store, or
  • Emailing photos with your name, address and mobile number to¬†info@agric.wa.gov.au

Brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB)

The brown marmorated stink bug is a high priority pest which is known to arrive in Australia in cargo coming from the northern hemisphere between September and April each year.

BMSB feeds on more than 300 host crops. Preferred vegetable crops include capsicums, sweet corn, okra, tomatoes, green beans, eggplant and others. The pest is native to eastern Asia but has been introduced to parts of North America and Europe.


Click here to visit the Department of Agriculture’s website.

Click here to access a factsheet that provides more information on the BMSB.

Click here to access the Department of Agriculture’s Import Industry Advice Notices.



CaLsol detection in imported parsley seed (NSW)

Current Situation

A bacterial plant pathogen, Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (CaLsol), was detected in the Italian Giant variety of imported parsley seed in 2017. These seeds originated in France. However, they were imported through a supplier in Italy.

The detection occurred in an imported commodity and therefore the bacterium is not currently considered present in Australia.

Visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries’ website for more information.

Impatiens necrotic spot virus

Impatiens necrotic spot virus is an exotic plant pest which can infect more than 600 plant species, including many vegetable crops. The virus has similar biology to Tomato spotted wilt virus, which is widespread in Australia. Impatiens necrotic spot virus is not seed borne, however, it can be spread by western flower thrips (WFT), which are established in most states and territories across Australia. WFT larvae obtain the virus when they feed on infected host plants. Adult WFT then transmit the virus to healthy plants by direct feeding for 5-30 minutes. Other thrips have not been identified as vectors of Impatiens necrotic spot virus.

Symptoms of plants infected by Impatiens necrotic spot virus include stunted plant growth, ringspots, brown or purple spots on leaves or stems, plant death and others. Nevertheless, symptoms may vary between plants and some plants may be asymptomatic.

In March 2018, Impatiens necrotic spot virus was detected in lettuce on a farm near Camden in the Sydney basin. The virus was detected in Batavia lettuce and two varieties of Cos lettuce. It is unclear how the virus became introduced to the vegetable farm.

If you think that your crop might be infected with Impatiens necrotic spot virus, contact the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

For more information on the virus, visit the NSW Department of Primary Industries’ website.

Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries ‚Äď update

Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Resources ‚Äď update

Western Australia Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development ‚Äď update


Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is an exotic pest that has been detected across several parts of Queensland, Northern Territory, and Western Australia.

Locations include Queensland – the Torres Strait Islands of Sabai and Erub, Bamaga in Cape York, Georgetown, South Johnstone, Tolga, Lakeland, Burdekin and Bowen; Northern Territory – Katherine; and Western Australia – Kununurra, Broome, Carnarvon.

Fall armyworm is known to feed on more than 350 plant species, including maize, cotton, rice, sorghum, sugarcane, wheat, and many vegetable and fruit crops, and have caused significant economic losses overseas.

Fall armyworm includes 2 subpopulations, or strains, that are morphologically indistinguishable but differ in their host plant preference and certain physiological features. Diagnosis by a laboratory is required to identify strain.

Destruction of crops can happen almost overnight when infestation levels are high.

While this pest is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas, since 2016 it has rapidly spread to and throughout Africa, the Indian subcontinent, China and Southeast Asia.

Scientific name:

Spodoptera frugiperda


Other names:

  • alfalfa worm
  • buckworm
  • budworm
  • corn budworm or corn leafworm
  • cotton leaf worm
  • grass caterpillar or grass worm
  • maize budworm
  • rice caterpillar
  • wheat cutworm
  • whorlworm



  • Moth, 15¬†to 20mm long nose to tail when resting.
  • Brown or grey forewing and a white hind wing.
  • Male fall armyworm moths have more patterns and a distinct white spot on each of their forewings.


  • Caterpillar-like.
  • When very young they are about 1.7mm, light in colour with a larger, darker head.
  • As they develop, they attain a darker greyish-brown colour with paler, slender, lengthwise stripes and small dark spots with spines on their upper surface, with a pale underside.
  • Eventually reach a length of about 34mm.


  • Shiny brown cocoon that is formed usually in soil, but also sometimes in plant debris.


  • Pale yellow in colour and clustered together in a mass.
  • An egg mass can contain 100‚Äď200¬†eggs.
  • Egg masses are usually attached to foliage in a mound, with a silk-like furry substance.


Plant stage and plant parts affected

The larvae can affect leaves, shoots, stems, trunk and fruit. Plants of different ages, from seedlings to mature plants, can be affected.

Plant damage

Fall armyworm larvae initially feed on leaves, creating pinholes and windows in leaf tissue, and giving leaf margins a tattered appearance. In grass-like plants, they often feed within the leaf whorl (where leaves radiate from or wrap around the stem or stalk (see image 2). Insect frass (droppings) is a sign that larvae are present.

Fall armyworm larvae can also eat buds and tunnel into and feed on fruit. Larger larvae can cut plants off at the base.

Many larvae may be present on 1¬†plant. When the larvae are very numerous they can defoliate preferred host plants and acquire an ‘armyworm’ habit and disperse in large numbers. Crops have been reported to be destroyed almost overnight.

May be confused with:

Fall armyworm can be confused with a number of armyworm species that are present in Australia. If in doubt, contact the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23.


Fall armyworm is native to tropical and subtropical regions of the Americas. Since 2016 it has rapidly spread to and throughout Africa, the Indian subcontinent, China and Southeast Asia.


Depending on the strain of fall armyworm, there are approximately 350 plant species hosts. These include economically important cultivated grasses such as maize, rice, sorghum, sugarcane and wheat but also other vegetable and fruit crops and cotton. View the full list of known hosts.


Fall armyworm poses a threat to Queensland’s agricultural industries.

Damage caused by fall armyworm can reduce plant growth, significantly reduce crop yield and cause plant death. Severe infestations can destroy crops almost overnight.

Since fall armyworm can also graze on native grasses, our environment may also be impacted.

How it is spread:

The adult moths are capable of flying long distances. In the Americas, adult moths can undertake annual seasonal migration as far north as Canada.

Fall armyworm can also spread through people movement. It is believed that the arrival of fall armyworm in Africa was on a passenger flight.

Fall armyworm can spread on the illegal importation or movement of infested plant material.

The Australian Government closely regulates approved imports of plant material and monitors for illegal plant movement.

Monitoring and action:

Inspect your plants regularly for the presence of unusual pest and disease symptoms.

To help identify symptoms of fall armyworm, examine plants for:

  • leaf damage, including pinholes, windowing, tattered leaf margins, skeletisation and defoliation of plants
  • tiny larvae, less than 1mm, that are more active at night, eating pin holes and transparent windows in leaves
  • bigger larvae grazing on leaves, stems, trunk and fruit, and leaving behind insect frass (droppings)
  • in grass-like plants, larvae are often in plant whorls (where leaves radiate from or wrap around the stem or stalk (see image¬†2)
  • sudden crop damage and collapse.

If you suspect fall armyworm, report immediately to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries on 13 25 23.


Protect your farm from plant pests and diseases:


If you suspect fall armyworm, call 13 25 23 to seek advice on control options.

Legal requirements:

The Australian Department of Agriculture has import conditions in place for importing plants and plant products.

Further information:

Further information about fall armyworm is available in the CABI Invasive Species Compendium.

Current situation

There have been confirmed detections of serpentine leafminer (also known as Pea leafminer) Liriomyza huidobrensis on field grown vegetables in Western Sydney in New South Wales and Kalbar in the Fassifern Valley region of Queensland.

Serpentine leafminer is an exotic leafminer species that poses a significant economic threat to Australia’s horticulture and nursery production plant industries. It has a wide host range of plant species which includes broccoli, beet, spinach, peas, beans, potatoes and cut flowers.

The pest is wind borne and eggs, larvae and pupae can be spread through the movement of plant material, soil, clothing and equipment.

Serpentine leafminer damage is primarily caused by larvae feeding under the surface of¬†leaves. Typically, this feeding causes long, narrow, serpentine-shaped ‘mines’ which appear as white or grey lines on leaves with dampened black and dried brown areas.

Serpentine leafminer, Bugwood.org


On 22 October 2020 a grower in Western Sydney phoned the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline and reported the presence of suspected exotic leafminer on his property. When the property was inspected on 23 October several vegetable hosts were infested, with the infestation having spread across the property. Live and dead specimens were collected and submitted for diagnostic testing.

On 29 October the specimens were identified as serpentine leafminer. This identification was confirmed on 2 November. Secondary testing by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment confirmed this.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries is establishing an Incident Management Team and Local Control Centre to coordinate the response. Infested sites are being assessed to inform further actions which may include treating host plants with pesticides and removal and destruction of severely infested host plants.

The Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests met on 6 and 23 November 2020 to discuss the incident. The committee agreed to recommend that the serpentine leafminer is an emergency plant pest.

The Consultative Committee on Emergency Plant Pests met on 23 November 2020 to discuss the incident. The committee agreed to recommend to the National Management Group that the serpentine leafminer is an Emergency Plant Pest as defined by the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed.

However, due to the locations of the incident, the current spread of the pest, the pest’s biology that includes a diverse host range the committee agreed to recommend that it is not technically feasible to eradicate.

A technical workshop with research and development experts will be held to further explore control options and identify knowledge gaps. Plant pest specialists will consider how to assist industry to manage serpentine leafminer and minimise the pest’s impact.

There have been no previous detections of serpentine leafminer in Australia.



Serpentine leafminer damage is primarily caused by larvae feeding under the surface of¬†leaves. Typically, this feeding causes long, narrow, serpentine-shaped ‚Äėmines‚Äô which appear as white or grey lines on leaves with dampened black and dried brown areas.

High levels of infestation affect the plant’s ability to photosynthesise, reducing plant growth and crop yields.


Public advice and reporting

Production nurseries and growers should always check their crops regularly for signs of plant pests and disease. If you suspect a serpentine leafminer infestation, report it to the department of primary industries or agriculture in your state or territory. You can do this by phoning the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

Good on-farm biosecurity practices are vital to preventing incursions of plant pests and diseases. The farmbiosecurity.com.au website has helpful information that can be tailored to your property.


Have you seen an exotic leafminer webinar


Host crops

It has a wide host range of plant species which includes broccoli, beet, spinach, peas, beans, potatoes and cut flowers.


Control methods

Serpentine leafminers are most damaging when beneficial parasitoids are removed due to the use of non-selective insecticides (Cesar Australia 2018; Murphy and LaSalle 1999). For the ongoing management of leafminers it is important that chemicals are selected that are reasonably selective and have low toxicity towards key beneficial parasitoids.


Minor Use Permits as at 24/11/2020


Permit ID Description Dates Permit Holder Jurisdiction Permit Download


Version 2

Cyromazine (Diptex 150 WP Insect Growth Regulator) / Various Vegetables / Liriomyza species, including: Vegetable Leafminer

(Liriomyza sativa), Serpentine Leafminer (Liriomyza huidobrensis)


2 December 2019 ‚Äď 30 November 2023 Hort Innovation All states and territories


Version 2

PER87878 Spinetoram (Success Neo/Delegate) /
Snow Peas & Sugar snap peas / Liriomyza Leafminers
11-Feb-2020 to 28-Feb-2020 Hort Innovation All states and territories except Victoria PER87878

Spirotetramat (Movento 240 SC) / Snow Peas, Sugar Snap Peas, Lettuce (Head lettuce and Leafy lettuce), Parsley, Green Beans, Celery, Rhubarb, Eggplant, Capsicums, Chilies & Tomatoes /

Liriomyza leafminers (Liriomyza spp.)

(including Vegetable leafminers, Pea leafminer and American serpentine leafminer)]

Suppression only

18-May-20 to 31-May-23 Hort Innovation All states and territories except Victoria PER88640
PER87878 Spinetoram (Success Neo/Delegate) /
Snow Peas & Sugar snap peas / Liriomyza Leafminers
11-Feb-2020 to 28-Feb-2020 Hort Innovation All states and territories except Victoria PER87878


Version 2

Chlorantraniliprole /  Spinach & Silverbeet / Leafminers (Liriomyza spp.) including:

Cabbage leaf miner (Liriomyza brassicae), Vegetable leaf miner (Liriomyza sativae) & Serpentine leaf miner (Liriomyza huidobrensis) (suppression only)

19-Jun-2019 to 30-Jun-24 Hort Innovation All states and territories PER87631



For more information

Management plan: https://ausveg.com.au/app/uploads/2020/07/1303CR2_Management-guide_FINAL_150620.pdf

Exotic leafminers webinar series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4cJZzAUfvKB03Pvihu6E-P5mR3sS4dXy





Last updated: 26 August 2021

The current situation

There have been multiple detections of American serpentine leafminer (Liriomyza trifolii) (ASLM) in the Torres Strait, Far North QLD and in Kununurra, WA. A single sample of ASLM was found in the Katherine region, NT.

Further detections in the Northern Peninsula Area of Cape York Peninsula are undergoing confirmatory identification.

Further surveillance is being conducted to determine the distribution of the pest.

About the pest

It has a wide host range including beans, celery, chrysanthemum, cucumber, gerbera, gypsophila, lettuce, onion, potato, tomato, peanuts, soybeans, lentils, lupins, faba beans, chickpeas and many more.

The pest is spread through the movement of plant material, soil, clothing and equipment. The adult can fly short distances either unaided or assisted by the wind.

Leaf damage by ASLM occurs through puncture wounds from the adult feeding and laying eggs. Damage is also caused by larvae tunnels or leaf mines (see image) within the leaf tissue.

High infestation levels can reduce plant growth and crop yields.


Production nurseries and growers should check their crops regularly for any plant pests and diseases.

If you suspect you have an ASLM infestation, report it to the department of primary industries or agriculture that is relevant to your state or territory. You can do this by ringing the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

Implement good on-farm biosecurity practices to prevent further incursions.

Impacts to trade


ASLM is present across large areas of Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas and this suggests that trade issues are likely to be limited if the pest establishes in Australia. However, there are several certification requirements, mainly for seeds, for this pest in the Manual of Importing Country Requirements (MICoR) which may cause some trade implications.

Australian exporters will be notified by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment should importing countries change their requirements.


The ASLM incursion is not expected to change import conditions for the import of plant material into Australia. General pre-export conditions are applied offshore and manage the risk of ASLM.


Domestic trade restrictions will be considered further by the consultative committee once work to identify the extent of outbreaks in QLD and WA is undertaken, and a final decision is made on technical feasibility of eradication.

There are restrictions already in place in QLD, on the movement of carriers of ASLM from Torres Strait and Cape York Peninsula.

For more information about American serpentine leaf miner, please contact AUSVEG at science@ausveg.com.au.

Images courtesy of Central Science Laboratory, Bugwood.org.