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Mango shoot looper pest detected in NT for first time, putting fruit industry on alert

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An unique plant pest referred to as mango shoot looper has been formally detected within the Northern Territory for the primary time, placing the area’s mango business on alert.  

The moth species, initially from Asia, had not been present in Australia till a detection in Queensland in September. 

When in its caterpillar kind, mango shoot loopers feed on mango tree leaves, shoots, flowers, and immature fruit. 

The pest was discovered on a farm within the Darwin rural space in late March, with DNA sequencing confirming the species in April. 

Northern Territory senior principal entomologist Brian Thistleton informed ABC Rural the mango shoot looper might have been within the area for some time. 

“We had all types of studies of elevated [pest] exercise … the issue is we could not really name it till we received a specimen and a confirmed identification,” Dr Thistleton stated.

He stated injury by mango shoot loopers in Queensland had not been “as extreme” as first thought. 

“I have been informed by entomologists in Queensland that [the damage] is aggregated into sure locations, not proper by way of the orchard. You get little spots with the shoot looper,” he stated. 

Mango shoot loopers additionally assault lychee timber, however there aren’t any business lychee growers within the NT. 

a number of caterpillars eating mango leaves and fruit.
Mango shoot loopers eat leaves, shoots and fruit.(Equipped: Queensland Division of Agriculture)

Biosecurity menace

The Australian Mango Trade Affiliation moved shortly to tell NT growers in regards to the pest and insecticides available to growers.

NT Farmers Affiliation chief govt Paul Burke stated the organisation’s employees had been elevating consciousness in regards to the pest.

“We are going to proceed to carefully work with the Division of Trade’s biosecurity crew to safeguard the business from the mango shoot looper menace,” he stated.  

“Within the pursuits of Territory farmers and the financial system, it’s important that biosecurity threats equivalent to mango shoot looper are quickly recognized and managed. 

“If mango shoot looper will not be successfully managed, it should doubtlessly scale back farmers’ income and the expansion of the business within the Territory.”

Mango shoot looper is an emergency plant pest. Should you suspect an infestation, contact the Unique Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.