An exotic insect pest, the Russian wheat aphid, Diuraphis noxia, (RWA) has been detected in cereal crops in the Tarlee and adjacent districts in the Mid North of South Australia. The initial detection was made in a paddock of Beaufort wheat near Tarlee on 13 May, in which 30 hectares showed patches of heavy aphid infestation and significant damage symptoms. Targeted surveillance around the initial detection sites by PIRSA Biosecurity SA and SARDI entomologists has since identified numerous infested sites (see map of the affected area ()). PIRSA is conducting surveillance and assisting affected growers with immediate control in an effort to locally contain infestations while the extent of distribution is being assessed. This species has not been previously detected in Australia.
Landholders and agronomists are requested to check emerging cereal crops and report any suspect aphids or unusual damage to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.