News State Tasmania News Suspected fruit fly larvae find on Tasmanian mainland prompts biosecurity alert

Suspected fruit fly larvae find on Tasmanian mainland prompts biosecurity alert

A Queensland fruit fly larva in the flesh of a piece of fruit
The larvae on apricots was reported by a member of the public at Spreyton. Photo: Biosecurity Tasmania
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Suspected fruit fly larvae discovered on apricots in a backyard in Tasmania’s north-west are being investigated by biosecurity officers.

A control zone has been set up around the property near Spreyton after a member of public reported the larvae, believed to be a Queensland fruit fly species considered a list-A pest.

It follows the discovery of fruit fly larvae on apricots at two Flinders Island sites last week.

Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment chief plant health manager Andrew Bishop says it is too early to say whether the cases are linked.

“At this stage, we are focusing on eradication of the pest from the infected sites (and) determining the extent of the incursion,” Mr Bishop said in a statement.

Tasmania relies on its fruit-fly-free status to export to premium markets in Japan, Korea, USA, Taiwan and China.

The larvae are being genetically tested to confirm its identity and trace its origin, while traps have been set up in a 1.5km radius around the property.

Spreyton is known for its apple growing.

The Queensland fruit fly is found along Australia’s eastern seaboard and in the Northern Territory.

It was declared a list-A pest in Tasmania in 1997.