A new species of fruit fly has been found in South Auckland.

Biosecurity NZ said the facialis fruit fly was caught in a surveillance trap in Otara yesterday.

It was a different species to the Queensland fruit fly and was unrelated to a separate biosecurity incident in Devonport.

So far, just the single specimen had been found and there was no indication of an incursion.


Ministry for Primary Industries director-general Ray Smith said the facialis species was native to Tonga, where it had badly affected crops of capsicum and chilli. It appeared to be less harmful to other fruit and vegetables, he said.

As a tropical fruit fly, it may not be at home in New Zealand's climate.

Restrictions had been put in place in the suburb where the fly was detected, Smith said.

"As with the fruit fly in Devonport, we need to determine if it's a lone specimen or if there's a population of these flies in the area.

"To do this, we're setting more traps in the area around the find. And while we look for more flies, we have restricted the movement of fruit and vegetables to stop the spread of any other facialis fruit flies that may be out there.

"We are progressively ramping-up activities in the area and will be working closely with the local community."

Biosecurity NZ has declared a controlled area around the location where the fly was found. That meant whole fresh fruit amd vegetables could not be moved outside of the area which extends 200m from where the fly was found.

Minister for Biosecurity Damien O'Connor said the finding of a second fruit fly was disappointing.


"Getting rid of the fruit fly is New Zealand's most well-oiled biosecurity response. We've been here several times before and each time we've successfully got rid of this horticultural pest," he said.

He added: "Two fruit flies is not an incursion as we saw in 2014 when the fruit fly was found twice in Whangārei, but we can't be too careful and as the response ramps up I urge the local community to be vigilant.

"This is a pest that could significantly harm our $5.5 billion horticulture sector and is why the Government is committed to do what it takes to keep it from establishing here."

Residents in the Otara area can find full information about what they need to do here.