Second Queensland fruit fly found in Northcote

A second Queensland fruit fly has been found in a surveillance trap in the Auckland suburb of Northcote.

The detection, in what is known as Zone A in Northcote, was 113 metres from the original detection there.

A significant trapping programme has been in operation on Auckland’s North Shore since the detection of a single male Queensland fruit fly in Devonport on February 14.

All traps on the North Shore have been checked. Those traps in Zone A are checked daily for the first seven days after the find.

“This latest detection is further evidence that our surveillance programme is working and it is pleasing we still have no indication of an established breeding population,” says Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson, Dr Catherine Duthie.

“Our trapping and surveillance has been enhanced and this programme will find any further flies in the area.”

A team of 140 Biosecurity New Zealand staff, contractors and industry partners is working on the response.

In addition to the trapping, Biosecurity New Zealand staff are collecting fruit from backyards in Zone A and checking this for larvae. More than 300 kilograms of fruit has been inspected in our mobile laboratory with no detections to date.

Because the movement of fruit and vegetables from Zones A and B is restricted, staff and contractors are continuing to collect disposal bins for processing.  Nearly three tonnes of fruit and vegetable waste has been collected from the three suburbs affected.

This is the normal amount of fruit and vegetable waste in these areas. Instead of putting waste in rubbish bins to be disposed of normally, the waste is being put into the special response bins for Biosecurity New Zealand to dispose of securely.

At the weekend, Biosecurity NZ had a strong presence at the Ōtara Market, supported by community leaders, educating the public about the facialis fruit fly found in the suburb. 

“The response and support from the public there was amazing, as it has been in Devonport and Northcote too,” says Dr Duthie. “This is critical as we need the whole community to pull together on this type of biosecurity response.”

Rob Delane, the independent reviewer engaged to head an assurance review of the air passenger, cruise and mail pathways, began his work today.

If you find larvae inside fruit, or believe you have seen a fruit fly, keep hold of it and call 0800 80 99 66.

Background and current situation

  • Three single male Queensland fruit flies have been found in separate surveillance traps in the Auckland North Shore suburbs of Devonport (1) and Northcote (2).  There is no evidence of a breeding population.
    Queensland fruit flies
  • The Queensland fruit fly has been detected before in the upper North Island in the past decade. Biosecurity New Zealand’s staff are well practised in dealing with this situation. Since the fruit fly was found, we’ve been working to locate any other possible fruit flies.
  • Two single male Facialis fruit flies have been found in separate surveillance traps in Ōtara, both within the current control Zone A. 
    Facialis fruit flies
  • To manage the fruit flies that have been found, Controlled Area Notices (CAN) has been issued for all three suburbs. This restricts the movement of certain fruit and vegetables out of the Controlled Area to help prevent the spread of any fruit flies if any are present.
  • Find out about the Controlled Area and movement controls. You can download the CANs for Devonport, Northcote and Ōtara from the MPI website: 
    More information on CANs
  • If there are no further detections, the operations in each area are expected to end 14 days after the last detection.

Numbers at a glance


QFF: 3

Facialis: 2

TRAPS – 548 total

BINS – 422 total


Note, this is the normal amount of fruit waste in these areas. Instead of putting waste in rubbish bins to be disposed of normally, the waste is being put into the special response bins for Biosecurity NZ to dispose of securely.


140 biosecurity staff and contractors and industry partners

The fruit fly response at a glance

Facialis fruit fly – Ōtara

Fruit flies found: 2 Facialis

Traps – 221 total

Zone A – 96
Zone B – 125

Bins – 161 total

Zone A – 128
Zone B – 33

  • A second single male Facialis fruit fly was found on February 21, 70 metres from the first detection.
  • Field crews have set up a field headquarters and are placing traps.
  • Additional traps will continue to be deployed into the zones over the next few days.
  • Bin distribution is underway across Zones A and B. The bins are provided so local people can safely dispose of fruit and vegetable waste.
  • Leaflets have been translated into a number of languages including Samoan, Tongan, Chinese, Cook Island Maori, Fijian and Hindi and are now being shared amongst the local community.
  • Biosecurity New Zealand representatives attended a meeting with local community and church leaders to update them on the situation.
  • Over the weekend, field teams were at the Ōtara market talking to residents. It is important to note, the market is outside the controlled area so people can continue to buy fruit and vegetables from the market as usual.

Queensland Fruit Fly – Northcote

Fruit flies found: 2 QFF

Traps – 154 total

Zone A – 94
Zone B – 60

Bins – 120 total

Zone A – 120
Zone B – 0

  • Additional traps continue to be  deployed across both zones.
  • Fruit fly traps in Zone A are being inspected daily, and those in Zone B are being inspected every three days. If fruit flies are present, these traps will catch them.
  • Traps are placed in home gardens where fruit fly host plants (for example fruit trees) are found.
  • All Queensland fruit fly traps on the North Shore have been checked at least once.
  • Staff are visiting homes in Zone A, checking for fruit trees, vegetable gardens and compost facilities that could provide suitable habitat for fruit flies. Fruit and vegetable samples will be taken from home gardens to check for fruit fly contamination.
  • Field workers are out in force talking to local residents, providing information about the controls and how they can support the response. 

Queensland Fruit Fly – Devonport 

Fruit flies found: 1 QFF

Traps – 173 total

Zone A – 93
Zone B – 80

Bins – 141 total

Zone A – 113
Zone B – 28

  • Fruit fly traps in Zone A are being inspected every three days, and those in Zone B are being inspected every seven days.
  • All traps are now in place in Devonport, no further traps will be laid, but that will be reviewed if further QFF are detected.
  • Bin distribution is now complete. Collected fruit is being taken to Biosecurity New Zealand’s field laboratory. 

Source:  Ministry for Primary Industries

Author: Bob Edlin

Editor of AgScience Magazine and Editor of the AgScience Blog

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