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Completed project

Improving the biosecurity preparedness of Australian horticulture for the exotic spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) (MT17005)

Key research provider: Plant Health Australia
Publication date: Tuesday, December 4, 2018

What was it all about?

Running from 2018 to 2020, this multi-industry investment improved awareness of the risks posed by spotted wing drosophila, which attacks a range of soft-skinned fruit, as well as enhanced Australia’s capacity to detect and respond to any incursions of the pest.

Most importantly, this project developed a framework for modelling spotted wing drosophila establishment and movement throughout Australian regions, allowing for a comprehensive preparedness plan to be developed for a swift response in the event of an incursion. The plan includes an extensive list of recommendations for industry, including relating to surveillance, control techniques, engagement and awareness, and diagnostics.

The project also worked to build knowledge and capacity around appropriate surveillance and management tools and strategies within the growing industries, government and among other relevant stakeholders. It produced a range of materials for growers, including identification information, a fact sheet on spotted wing drosophila hosts, and a webinar detailing preparedness for the pest.

The project team reports the key achievements of the investment as being:

  • Increased industry awareness of the threat posed by spotted wing drosophila and how to identify the pest
  • Improved understanding of the tools available for monitoring the pest and the efficacy of those tools
  • Improved understanding of chemical and non-chemical control options that have been used overseas, and how these would be applicable to Australian conditions
  • Development of an approach for prioritised surveillance that considers the potential pathways through which spotted wing drosophila could arrive and spread in Australia
  • Development of a framework to simulate different incursion scenarios, industry responses and their associated impacts
  • Identification of knowledge gaps that will help to prioritise future investment.


The project produced several resources to inform industry about the threat of spotted wing drosophilia and potential management options, available below. You can also find out more about the project on the cesar website here.

Access the spotted wing drosophila extension pack

The project team also produced an extension pack to support the raising of awareness and preparedness for spotted wing drosophila. You can download the pack from the Cesar Australia website here. It includes the following resources:

  • Predicted economic impact of spotted wing drosophila in Australia
  • Literature review of invasion history, biology and trapping of SWD
  • Predicting establishment and spread of spotted wing drosophila in Australia
  • Modelling surveillance options for early detection of spotted wing drosophila in Australia
  • Preparedness plan for spotted wing drosophila.

Access other project resources


This project was a multi-industry strategic levy investment in several Hort Innovation Funds