Australia: Fall armyworm detected in Northern Territory

The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda), was recently detected in Katherine. Four adult moths were located in a trap at after a network of surveillance traps were increased in key agricultural areas across the Northern Territory (NT), Queensland, and Western Australia to determine the current distribution and provide an early detection system for industries across these regions.

The Department of Primary Industry and Resources (DPIR) confirmed the diagnosis on 26 March, following morphological analysis and molecular diagnostic testing. Specimens were subsequently detected in traps located in the Darwin and Douglas-Daly region.

The fall armyworm was first detected in Australia in January 2020 on the Torres Strait islands of Saibai and Erub, and has spread quickly to other parts of North Queensland including Bamaga, Croydon South Johnstone, Tolga, Lakeland, Mareeba, the Burdekin and Bowen.

“The NT Government is working closely with other state and territory governments, industry groups and communities to monitor this pest, raise awareness and prepare industries for the likely ongoing management of the pest,” NT Chief Plant Health Officer, Dr Anne Walters told

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