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Oriental rice thrips, Stechaetothrips biformis (Bagnall), recorded attacking sugarcane for the first time in Australia

Sallam, N., Braithwaite, K. and Tree, D. (2013) Oriental rice thrips, Stechaetothrips biformis (Bagnall), recorded attacking sugarcane for the first time in Australia. Proceedings of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technology, 35 . pp. 1-6. ISSN 0726-0822



On 4 June 2012, Oriental rice thrips, Stenchaetothrips biformis (Bagnall), was detected damaging sugarcane seedlings on the BSES Experiment Station at Meringa, Mulgrave region, Queensland. It has since been detected on young cane plants on two other farms in the Mulgrave area. The pest was first suspected to be Oriental sugarcane thrips (Fulmekiola serrata (Kobus)), an exotic pest species. This triggered an Emergency Response course of action, with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Queensland (DAFF) being notified immediately and all cane movement out of Meringa station being halted. Specimens were sent to the Queensland Primary Industries Insect Collection (QDPC), and an accurate identification was made within 48 hours from initial detection. This resulted in the Emergency Response action being terminated as S. biformis is already established in Australia. DNA barcoding was conducted on specimens of S. biformis, as well as specimens of F. serrata that were sourced from colleagues in Reunion and South Africa for future reference. Reasons for what seems to be an expansion of the host range by S. biformis in Australia are unknown, but this incidence highlighted the industry’s preparedness to deal with a sudden pest or disease incursion. It also provides the first record of S. biformis attacking sugarcane in Australia. The impact of S. biformis on sugarcane in Australia and its ultimate geographical distribution in canegrowing regions are yet to be determined.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Animals > Impact assessment
Plant pests and diseases > Individual or types of plants or trees > Sugarcane
Plant pests and diseases > Economic entomology
Live Archive:19 Feb 2024 23:37
Last Modified:19 Feb 2024 23:37

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