Keep an Eye Out for Very Hungry Caterpillars

Landholders in the Central West are being urged to watch out for suspicious looking caterpillars after a grub similar to the Fall Armyworm was spotted near Wellington. Central West Local Land Services Cropping Officer Tim Bartimote was recently contacted by a diligent landholder who had spotted the suspect caterpillar on his property. This caterpillar had inverted yellow dots, hairs and lines on its body similar to Fall Armyworm. Fall Armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is considered an invasive pest and has caused significant economic losses overseas. It has been spreading quickly globally and was detected in the North Queensland in February 2020. Mr Bartimote got in touch with the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline and DNA sequencing was performed in Orange by DPI.
 “The DNA sequencing confirmed the caterpillar was Weed Webworm which was a relief for all involved.”  Landholders are encouraged to report any suspicious looking caterpillars or bugs to the Exotic Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881. For more information on biosecurity contact Central West Local Land Services on 1300 795 299.