Single Tau fly triggers MPI investigation

New Zealand's Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is investigating the presence of Tau fly in the Auckland area, after a single fly was caught in a surveillance trap.

Tau fly is usually found in South East and Southern Asia, preferring tropical climates. MPI biosecurity staff say that the presence of one fly does not indicate an outbreak.

“We have a significant number of traps in this area which were all checked yesterday. No other flies were found" said Brendan Gould, MPI's Manager of Surveillance and Incursion Investigation.

"We have teams in the field now setting additional traps to determine if other flies are in the area, and they will take actions to prevent spread out of the area if more flies are found" he said.

The Tau fly is not as damaging as the Queensland Fruit Fly, being limited to fewer host materials including cucumber, pumpkin and zucchini. MPI has instigated precautionary measures, putting controls on the movement of certain fruit and vegetables within a 1.5km radius of the trap.

While the measures may cause some inconvenience to the local community, MPI is confident in their support.

“Based on our experiences with Queensland fruit fly last year, our operations have shown that public support is vital to success and we have always had terrific community buy-in,” Mr Gould said.

The restrictions will be in place for a minimum of two weeks. MPI monitors a network of 7,600 lure traps on a regular basis as part of their biosecurity system.

More information:

 Image courtesy of MPI.

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