sustainability through science & innovation

Improving our preparedness for spotted wing drosophila

22 Oct 2018

cesar is partnering with Plant Health Australia and Plant & Food Research New Zealand to increase how prepared horticultural industries are to detect, respond to and manage a damaging invasive fly – the spotted wing drosophila.

‘Improving the biosecurity preparedness of Australian horticulture for the exotic Spotted Wing Drosophila (Drosophila suzukii)’ will run until June 2020. Project objective are:

  1. Increase the chance of detection and reporting of Spotted Wing Drosophila through increased awareness and knowledge of the pest.
  2. Improve Australia’s capacity to respond effectively to incursions of Spotted Wing Drosophila.

To achieve these objectives, project partners will review the potential entry pathways and impacts for Australia, impacts of Spotted Wing Drosophila overseas, and our preparedness and response capability in Australia. We will also review overseas management practices and incursion response protocols to support preparation of appropriate management plans and control permits. This information will be used to develop a cross commodity contingency plan, including optimum surveillance protocols.

The launch of this project follows several high profile horticultural exotic pest incursions in Australia, such as the varroa mite, the vegetable leafminer, panama disease (tropical race 4), and the tomato potato psyllid.

Another aspect of this project involves running an awareness and education campaign for potentially affected industries, involving seminars, articles, and preparedness workshops.

One of our first extension activities will be an awareness and education roadshow running from 30 October-2 November that will cover four major growing regions – the Yarra Valley (Vic), Tamar Valley (Tas), Mid North Coast (NSW), and Moreton Bay (QLD).

At each event, growers, extension professionals, and agronomists will learn about identifying and managing this exotic fly from international researchers, Professor Rufus Isaacs (Michigan State University) and Bethan Shaw (East Malling Research).



Tuesday 30 October 12pm - 2pm

Wandin Nth Public Hall, Wandin


Wednesday 31 October 11am - 12.30pm

Tailrace Centre, Launceston

New South Wales

Thursday 1 November 5.30pm - 7.00pm

Park Beach Bowls Club, Coffs Harbour


Friday 2 November 5.00pm - 6.30pm
Lagoon Creek Cafe, Caboolture


You can book a place by contacting the cesar office on (03) 9349 4723 or get in touch with Dr Jessica Lye:


This project has been funded by Hort Innovation, using the strawberry, raspberry and blackberry, cherry and summerfruit research and development levies and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.