Fruit fly in South Australian oranges

09 October 2014

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has received laboratory results confirming insect larvae found in two separate consignments of citrus fruit (mandarins and oranges) from South Australia are NOT economically-significant fruit flies.

The fruit consignments were intercepted at the border last week as part of routine border inspection processes. They were found to contain suspected fruit fly larvae.

The insect larvae found in the consignments were the Island Fruit Fly (Dirioxa pornia) which is not regarded as economically significant as it predominantly affects damaged fallen fruit, and primarily not fruit for sale.

The consignments were from areas designated as pest-free for economically significant fruit flies in South Australia and imported to Auckland and Christchurch.

MPI immediately put a hold on fruit imported from Australia while it waited on laboratory identification to determine if the insects present were harmful species of fruit fly. This fruit was not to be distributed for sale.

None of the fruit from the consignments in question left containment until the larvae was identified and the fruit treated.

Interceptions at the border such as this incident are not infrequent and demonstrate the border system at work.

KVH was pleased to be notified quickly of the incident and supports the actions taken by MPI.