The Project

‘MT16004 – RD&E Program for control, eradication and preparedness for Vegetable Leafminer (2017-2020)’ was developed in recognition of the extensive impact that Vegetable Leafminer (VLM; Liriomyza sativae) could have on the vegetable, nursery, melon, and potato industries were it to move into production areas with no management plan in place.

In 2019, the project underwent a variation to cover RD&E activities on serpentine leafminer (SLM; Liriomyza huidobrensis) and American serpentine leafminer (ASLM; Liriomyza trifolii).

Project partners included Cesar Australia, the University of Melbourne, Plant Health Australia, the Northern Australian Quarantine Strategy (NAQS) and AUSVEG.

Throughout the duration of the project, project partners:

  • Investigated biological and chemical control options for VLM, SLM and ASLM;
  • Identified spread pathways into Australia;
  • Developed management guidelines and trapping methods;
  • Modelled the spread of the pest from Cape York Peninsula; and
  • Developed contingency plans for VLM, SLM and ASLM and VLM-specific response plans in the event of a regional eradication.



AUSVEG delivered the communications and extension component of the program, which aimed to improve awareness of VLM, SLM, and ASLM in vegetable, nursery, potato and melon production regions, as well as inform growers about methods of control as developed throughout the project. Over the course of the project, AUSVEG delivered 19 workshops, eight webinars, three podcasts, two videos, and numerous articles and project updates. Visit the ‘Extension Package’ tab above to view and download these resources.


Recent News


Exotic leafminer video recently developed

The video below outlines the potential impacts that exotic leafminers could have on Australia’s horticulture industries, and explores activities that the MT16004 project team have undertaken since 2017, which aim to help industry prepare for the potential arrival of exotic leafminers.

Interactive tool to map key areas most at risk of VLM

cesar has created an interactive tool to map key areas of Australia most at risk of VLM. Click on the image below to access the tool.

The strategic levy investment project RD&E program for control, eradication and preparedness for Vegetable Leafminer (MT16004) is part of the Hort Innovation Vegetable, Nursery, Melon, and Potato Funds. This project has been funded by Hort Innovation using the vegetable, nursery, melon, and potato research and development levies and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.