Four species of fruit fly are found to be the same

06 November 2014

A study published this week found four species of fruit fly (Oriental Fruit Fly (OFF), Invasive Fruit Fly, Philippine Fruit Fly and Asian Papaya Fruit Fly), are in fact all the same species—Oriental Fruit Fly.

The implications of this study means the distribution and host range of the OFF is wider than previously thought, increasing the likelihood of an incursion by this species.

The OFF attacks a wider range of hosts than the Queensland and Mediterranean fruit flies and can damage fruit at an earlier stage than other species while the fruit is harder and greener.

Australia rank OFF as their major quarantine concern for plant industries with a total cost of establishment expected to be $1 billion in control and lost markets.

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KVH consider OFF as one of three species of fruit fly (Mediterranean and Queensland fruit flies being the others) that together present the greatest biosecurity threat to the New Zealand kiwifruit industry. Should OFF establish in New Zealand the economic impact to the kiwifruit industry would primarily felt through market access restrictions by trading partners.

OFF is a target species of the fruit fly surveillance network in New Zealand, and a focus species of the Operational Agreement for readiness and response activities under GIA that KVH is preparing alongside MPI and other horticultural industries.