Final Import Risk Analysis Report for Fresh Unshu Mandarin Fruit from Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan

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      1. Unrestricted risk estimate

The unrestricted risk estimate for Chaetanaphothrips orchidii, Frankliniella intonsa, F. occidentalis and Thrips palmi is: LOW.

Unrestricted risk is the result of combining the probability of entry, establishment and spread with the outcome of overall consequences. Probabilities and consequences are combined using the risk estimation matrix shown in Table 2.5.

The unrestricted risk estimate for thrips of ‘low’ exceeds Australia's ALOP. Therefore, specific risk management measures are required for these pests.

    1. Japanese orange fly

Bactrocera tsuneonis

      1. Introduction

Fruit flies are considered to be among the most damaging pests to horticulture (White and Elson-Harris 1994). Fruit flies in the genus Bactrocera are one of four fruit fly genera that are of most global concern. Bactrocera species are an economically important and diverse genus of fruit flies, having in excess of 400 recognised species (White and Elson-Harris 1994). They occur in many countries, can easily establish in new environments, rapidly increase in numbers and disperse successfully and therefore represent a significant threat to agriculture (Fletcher 1989a, b). Bactrocera spp. attack a wide range of fruit including tropical, subtropical and temperate fruit in South-East Asia, Oceania, the Subcontinent and parts of Africa.

Fruit flies are of concern because their larvae generally complete their feeding and development within the host fruit (Fletcher 1989a). Fruit with infestation normally show obvious signs of attack or tissue decay. However, infested fruit cannot always be distinguished from uninfested fruit (White and Elson-Harris 1994). The transportation of infested fruit is regarded as the major means of movement and dispersal of fruit flies (Baker et al. 2000; Iwaizumi 2004) and therefore deserves the most scrutiny in terms of pathways for introduction.

      1. Probability of entry

Probability of importation

The likelihood that B. tsuneonis will arrive in Australia with the importation of fresh unshu mandarin fruit from the production area in Japan is: LOW.

  • MAFF advised that in Japan B. tsuneonis occurs on Kyushu Island and on the Ryukyu Islands which are to the South of Honshu Island. This information is consistent with distribution records listed for Japan by White and Elson-Harris (1994). The unshu mandarin production area in the Shizuoka Prefecture is on Honshu Island and is apparently free of natural populations of B. tsuneonis.

  • However, there are currently no restrictions on the movement of citrus fruit in Japan, and infected fruit could be present in the production area.

  • Bactrocera tsuneonis is a serious pest of citrus, including cumquats, sweet and sour oranges and tangerines (White and Elson-Harris 1994). MAFF provided additional information that B. tsuneonis also infests other thin skinned citrus species such as unshu mandarin.

  • Information provided by MAFF on the biology of B. tsuneonis shows that this species, in its distributional range, has one generation per year. Reproduction is by sexual means. Adults emerge during summer from early June to around mid July. Egg laying, that of 30-40 eggs during its lifetime, commences three to four weeks after emergence, i.e. from late July to early September and continues for over 20 days. Eggs are deposited into the host fruit with a long, extendable ovipositor. Generally there is one developing larva per fruit. All three larval stages feed inside the fruit before the third mature larval stage emerges from the fruit at the end of November. It buries itself into the soil and overwinters in the pupa stage until emerging as an adult in the following summer.

  • Bactrocera tsuneonis is distributed throughout the subtropical and tropical islands of Kyushu Island and the Ryukyu Islands. MAFF informed that B. tsuneonis has never been reported from the Shizuoka Prefecture on temperate Honshu Island. Although there is no data on the cold tolerance of this species available, there neither is evidence of it being cold tolerant. Pupation under subtropical conditions prior to winter suggests that this species is unlikely to be cold tolerant.

  • Male flies of Bactrocera tsuneonis are non lure responsive and trapping efficiency is therefore low. However, long term trapping data (since 2001) and the fruit fly’s limited distributional range (see above) all provide confidence that B. tsuneonis has not been trapped and is not able to establish in the designated export areas.

  • Infested fruit may show symptoms, e.g. punctures and solidified sugars associated with the egg depositing hole, but these symptoms may not be detected during the pre-export inspections. Eggs and larval stages may survive in harvested fruit and will not be visible.

  • Also, routine washing procedures undertaken within the packing house would not remove the eggs or larvae from under the fruit surface.

  • Adults of this species are unlikely to stay on the fruit during inspection and packing procedures.

The difficulty of detecting fruit fly eggs and larval stages internally in fruit and the lack of movement restrictions of fruit fly host commodities throughout Japan moderated by the fruit fly’s natural distributional range in the subtropics/tropics and its reported absence supported by active trapping from the Shizuoka Prefecture support a risk rating for importation of ‘Low’.

Probability of distribution

The likelihood that B. tsuneonis will be distributed within Australia in a viable state, as a result of the processing, sale or disposal of fresh unshu mandarin fruit from the production area in Japan is: HIGH.

  • In the event that fruit infested with eggs and larvae would survive transport to Australia, fruit are likely to be distributed throughout the country for retail sale. Adults, larvae and eggs are likely to be associated with infested waste.

  • Although damaged fruit are likely to be detected and removed from consignments because of quality concerns, fruit flies have the capacity to complete their development in discarded fruit. Although B. tsuneonis has a relatively narrow host range, hosts are widely distributed throughout Australia.

  • Eggs can develop into larvae within stored fruit, at the point of sale or after purchase by consumers.

  • Adults are strong fliers, and can move directly from infected fruit into the environment to search for mates and suitable hosts.

The ability to complete larval development on discarded fruit, their directional and strong flight ability and the wide distribution of suitable citrus hosts throughout Australia all support a risk rating for distribution of ‘High’.

Probability of entry (importation x distribution)

The likelihood that B. tsuneonis will enter Australia and be transferred in a viable state to a susceptible host, as a result of trade in fresh unshu mandarin fruit from the production area in Japan is: LOW.

      1. Probability of establishment

The likelihood that B. tsuneonis will establish within Australia, based on a comparison of factors in the source and destination areas considered pertinent to its survival and reproduction is: HIGH.

  • Establishment will depend on surviving females successfully locating a mating partner. Previous exotic fruit fly incursions in Australia of other fruit fly species, which subsequently have been eradicated, indicate that establishment is possible. For example, Bactrocera papayae was detected around Cairns, northern Queensland in 1995. It was eradicated from Queensland by implementing an eradication program using male annihilation and protein bait spraying (SPC 2002). This example demonstrates that fruit fly species can establish in Australia.

  • Although the host range of citrus species is relatively narrow, hosts species are widespread throughout Australia, both in commercial orchard districts and suburban areas.

  • Suitable subtropical and tropical climatic ranges occur on the eastern and western seaboard of Australia and in northern Australia.

  • The food source for adult fruit flies (honeydew excreted by aphids and other insects) is found throughout Australia, which would allow adults to colonise new areas.

  • Control of B. tsuneonis is possible. Most species of Bactrocera can be monitored by traps baited with male lures; however, no chemical male lure is known to attract B. tsuneonis (White and Elson-Harris 1994). In China, control of B. tsuneonis in citrus orchards includes sterile male technique (Wang et al. 1990), and the pesticide trichlorphan (Zhang 1989). Both female and male B. tsuneonis flies can be monitored by protein bait traps (CAB International 2007).

Suitable climatic environments coupled with a wide distribution of citrus hosts throughout Australia and the lack of male lure responsiveness support a risk rating for establishment of ‘High’.

      1. Probability of spread

The likelihood that B. tsuneonis will spread within Australia, based on the comparison of those factors in source and destination areas considered pertinent to the expansion of the geographical distribution of the pest is: HIGH.

  • The host range of B. tsuneonis is narrow, but hosts are densely distributed throughout populated parts of Australia.

  • Information supplied by MAFF indicates that the adult life span of B. tsuneonis is normally 40–50 days. Fruit flies generally are strong fliers and are able to colonise new areas effectively. Bactrocera tsuneonis’ large sized body, 11 mm in length, would support strong flight ability.

  • The incidence of B. papayae in northern Australia in 1995 is indicative of the ability of introduced fruit fly species to spread. Initially, the infested area covered 4500km2 (Allwood 1995), and was centred around Cairns. The declared pest quarantine area later expanded, including urban areas, farms, and areas along rivers and the coastline in northern Queensland (Cantrell et al. 2002). Although B. tsuneonis is likely to spread more slowly than B. papayae in Australia because of its narrower host range, the capacity to greatly increase its range is still present.

Strong, directional flight ability and the wide availability of hosts and suitable climatic conditions of extensive populated parts of Australia all support a risk rating for spread of ‘High’.

      1. Probability of entry, establishment and spread

The overall likelihood that B. tsuneonis will be imported as a result of trade in fresh unshu mandarin fruit from the production area in Japan, be distributed in a viable state to a susceptible host, establish and spread within Australia is: LOW.

      1. Consequences

Assessment of the potential consequences (direct and indirect) of B. tsuneonis for Australia is: HIGH.


Estimate and rationale


Plant life or health

E – significant at the regional level

Bactrocera tsuneonis can cause direct harm to a wide range of plant hosts within the genus Citrus. The fruit fly is considered to threaten the economic viability of citrus production through a moderate decrease of saleable produce, specifically in the subtropical and tropical regions of Australia.

Other aspects of the environment

C – significant at the local level

The introduction of B. tsuneonis into a new environment may lead to this fruit fly competing for resources with native species. There are no known consequences for other aspects of the environment.


Eradication, control etc.

F – significant at the national level

A control program would add considerably to the cost of production of the host fruit.

In 1995, the B. papayae (papaya fruit fly) eradication program using male annihilation and protein bait spraying cost AU$35 million (SPC 2002). Fruit flies are estimated to have significant consequences at the national level and highly significant consequences at the regional level.

Recent research has highlighted the potential prevalence of insecticide resistance in Bactrocera species (Hsu et al. 2006; Skouras et al. 2007). Incursion of insecticide resistant populations of Bactrocera species would be more difficult to control or eradicate and add significantly to the costs of these programs.

Males of B. tsuneonis are non-lure responsive. Population monitoring would require the labour intensive and costlier alternative of female protein baiting.

Domestic trade

E – significant at the regional level

The presence of fruit flies in commercial production areas would have a significant effect at the regional level because of any resulting interstate trade restrictions on a wide range of citrus commodities.

International trade

E – significant at the regional level

Fruit flies, including B. tsuneonis, are regarded as major destructive pests of horticultural crops in various parts of the world. Although B. tsuneonis can lead to considerable yield losses of citrus in orchards and urban backyards, they also have consequences for the Australian citrus industry on gaining and maintaining export markets.

For example, when the papaya fruit fly outbreak occurred in northern Queensland, it affected Australia’s trade. In the first two months of the papaya fruit fly eradication campaign, about $600,000 worth of exports were interrupted by Australian trade partners (Cantrell et al. 2002).

Within a week of the papaya fruit fly outbreak being declared, Japan ceased imports of mangoes at a cost of about $570,000, New Zealand interrupted its $30,000 banana trade, and the Solomon Islands completely stopped importing fruit and vegetables from Queensland (Cantrell et al. 2002) until eradication was declared.

Environmental and non-commercial

D – significant at the district level

Broad-scale chemical control of any fruit fly would have significant effects on fragile rainforest ecosystems (Cantrell et al. 2002).

      1. Unrestricted risk estimate

The unrestricted risk for B. tsuneonis is: MODERATE.

Unrestricted risk is the result of combining the probability of entry, establishment and spread with the outcome of overall consequences. Probabilities and consequences are combined using the risk estimation matrix shown in Table 2.5.

The unrestricted risk estimate for B. tsuneonis of ‘moderate’ exceeds Australia’s ALOP. Therefore, specific risk mitigation measures are required for this pest.

    1. Citrus scab

Sphaceloma fawcettii

Citrus scab, caused by S. fawcettii, produces serious fruit blemishes that cost the citrus industry millions of dollars worldwide in reduced fruit value for the fresh market. Of the four recognised pathotypes (i.e. Florida broad host range, Florida narrow host range, lemon and Tryon’s), the lemon and Tryon’s pathotypes occur in Australia (Tan et al. 1996). These two pathotypes are established in coastal New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory (Timmer et al. 1996a; APPD 2007).

While all pathotypes of S. fawcettii affect C. jambhiri (rough lemon) and C. limon (lemon), the lemon pathotype is known to only affect lemon while the Tryon’s pathotype also attacks certain C. reticulata (mandarin) cultivars (Timmer et al. 1996a). In Japan, S. fawcettii is known to affect Citrus unshiu (MAFF 1990; JSCC 2008), Citrus reticulata Blanco (Ponkan mandarin) and Citrus hassaku (JSCC 2008). Tan et al. (1996, 1999) suggested that, because unidentified pathotypes may exist in localised areas, strict quarantine precautions should be taken to avoid moving the citrus scab fungi into Australia from other countries. In 2008, Japan advised that the pathogenic form of the species that is present in Japan is not known.

Citrus scab is known to occur in citrus production areas in the Shizuoka Prefecture, although the incidence of scab is low, as advised by MAFF officers during the 2007 Biosecurity Australia site visit. Regular monitoring for citrus scab is conducted within the Prefecture as part of the National Pest Outbreak Forecasting Program. The Shizuoka Department of Agriculture advises growers of spray applications for citrus scab, should these be required (refer to Chapter 3). However, adherence of growers to the recommended spray applications is not mandatory.

In previous policy developed for the importation of Tahitian limes from New Caledonia (BA 2006) exotic pathotypes of Sphaceloma fawcettii were assigned an unrestricted risk rating of LOW, which exceeds Australia’s ALOP. This risk rating has been reviewed, and it has been concluded that it is valid for this risk analysis.

The unrestricted risk estimate for Sphaceloma fawcettii of ‘low’ exceeds Australia's ALOP. Therefore, specific risk management measures are required for this pest.

    1. Citrus canker

Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri

      1. Introduction

Citrus canker, caused by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri, is a leaf-spotting and fruit rind blemishing disease. Canker lesions appear as corky eruptions surrounded by an oily or water-soaked margin on the surface of leaves, twigs and fruit (Timmer et al. 1991). Premature fruit abscission and deformed and blemished fruit with increasing disease severity cause major economic losses (Koizumi 1981, 1985; Stall and Seymour 1983; Schubert et al. 2001; Gottwald et al. 2002a; Das 2003).

As stated previously (refer to Scope in Section 1.2.2), the unrestricted risk for the identified quarantine pests, which include citrus canker, is assessed for the production area. The production area surrounds the four designated export areas to Australia and has no phytosanitary conditions in place. This is in contrast to the designated export areas from which unshu mandarins are currently exported to other countries, including the USA and New Zealand, and which are subject to phytosanitary conditions.

      1. Probability of entry

Probability of importation

The likelihood that X. citri subsp. citri will arrive in Australia with the importation of fresh unshu mandarin fruit from the production area in Japan is: LOW.

Citrus canker status in the production area

  • Citrus canker is present in the Shizuoka Prefecture, where it occurs on vegetative plant parts and fruit of mid-season mandarin varieties (Obata 1974; Kuhara 1978). Sampling and reporting procedures for the Shizuoka prefectural citrus canker monitoring program are outlined in Appendix F.

  • MAFF provided information that there have been no reported visible symptoms of X. citri subsp. citri on unshu mandarin in the designated export areas since monitoring for citrus canker commenced in 1968 as part of the export protocol for unshu mandarins to the USA. Table 4.2 provides a summary of field monitoring records (1996–2005) for unshu mandarin export orchards near Fujieda City provided by MAFF. This data shows that no unshu mandarin export orchard registered for trade to the USA or New Zealand was rejected for citrus canker.

While Japan has advised that citrus canker has never been reported in the designated export areas from which fruit is sourced for export to the USA and New Zealand, no supporting data demonstrating the absence of visible symptoms of X. citri subsp. citri from the production area, excluding the designated export areas, was provided.

Table 4.2 Summary of field inspection records for unshu mandarin export orchards in the Shizuoka Prefecture near Fujieda City
After petal fall inspection


No. of orchards



No. of


No. of

orchards passed

No. of orchards

rejected for

citrus canker

No. of orchards

rejected, including reason




30 184



1 – citrus mealybug




28 802



1 – poor management




28 589







27 505







26 164







24 781







23 786



3 – poor management




23 045



3 – poor management




21 720







20 588



2 – not stated

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