The Project

Serpentine leafminer (SLM – Liriomyza huidobrensis) is a previously exotic insect pest with the potential to significantly impact a wide range of commercial crops (vegetables, broadacre, ornamentals and non-commercial hosts) and is categorised as a high priority pest in the vegetable and potato industry biosecurity plans. It was first detected in Australia in Western Sydney NSW in October 2020 and soon after in the Fassifern Valley, QLD in November 2020. There have since been further sightings in Southeast QLD.

The inclusion of serpentine leafminer into the recently completed project ‘MT16004 RD&E Program for control, eradication, and preparedness for vegetable leafminer’ has enabled a rapid response to these incursions in facilitating industry understanding of the significance of this pest to the vegetable industry.

MT20005 will build on the initial work undertaken in MT16004 by: refining development and validation of tools including surveillance and diagnostic protocols, predictive forecasting for SLM risk assessment and management, as well as identifying and monitoring parasitoids, and delivering an industry communication program including the development of industry management plan, grower guides, and industry focused workshops.’

AUSVEG’s role

AUSVEG will deliver the communications and engagement component of the program, facilitating workshops and delivering educational materials to growers and the wider horticulture industry, including regional biosecurity/extension agents.

AUSVEG will also be developing an industry management plan for SLM and four commodity grower guides for vegetables, potatoes, onions, and melons for industry use.

Contact AUSVEG Project Officer Cherry Emerick, on (03) 9882 0277 or email

Adult serpentine leafminer (Liriomyza huidobrensis)

Credit: Shutterstock

Management strategy for serpentine leafminer, Liriomyza huidobrensis (MT20005) is a strategic levy investment under the Hort Innovation Vegetable, Potato – Fresh and Potato – Processing, Onion and Nursery Funds.

This project has been funded by Hort Innovation using the vegetable, potato, onion and nursery 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.