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New species of fruit fly found in Auckland

Staff Writer |
Biosecurity New Zealand is investigating a find of a single male Queensland fruit fly in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Devonport.

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The fly was collected from a fruit fly trap and formally identified on the afternoon of 14 February. A Controlled Area Notice has been issued for Devonport. It's the fifth time a Queensland fruit fly has been detected in the upper North Island in the past decade.

More than 60 people are working in Auckland and this number continues to grow. Around 20 Biosecurity New Zealand staff are working from the National HQ in Wellington.

Biosecurity New Zealand’s bio-secure mobile field laboratory is established at the Devonport Naval Base.

Staff there are inspecting produce collected from the area for signs of fruit fly and larvae.

Personnel are out in force providing information to local residents and people visiting Devonport.

Signs are up on main roads and at the Devonport Ferry Terminal. Bins are going into the Controlled Area for local people to safely dispose of fruit and vegetable waste.

Note, Biosecurity New Zealand is also investigating the discovery of another type of fruit fly in a different Auckland suburb Otara.

To manage the fruit fly that has been found, an area of Otara, Auckland, has been put under a Controlled Area Notice (CAN). This is effective from 19 February 2019. This restricts the movement of certain fruits and vegetables out of the Controlled Area to help prevent the spread of any fruit flies if there are more than one.

Queensland fruit flies spoil many horticultural crops, often making them inedible.

They have been detected in New Zealand several times previously.

A population was eradicated from Auckland in December 2015.

The pest is difficult to catch at the border because it can arrive as eggs or tiny larvae concealed inside fruit.

Information for people in the controlled area making packed lunches:

If you live in the Controlled Area and you're preparing lunch for work or school, you can still include fruit and vegetables, make sure it’s cut up and you can’t see any larvae in it.

If you find larvae in fruit or believe you have seen a fruit fly, call 0800 80 99 66.

Information for retailers:

Host plants are those that the fruit fly feeds on. These are subject to movement controls for retailers.

These include:

Chillis, Peppers, breadfruit, lemons, pummelo, mandarin, naval orange, grapefruit, Surinam cherry, chestnuts, mango, giant granadilla, avocado, Fijian longan, peach, guava, tomato, rose apple, and Singapore almonds.

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