The tomato red spider mite (TRSM), Tetranychus evansi Baker and Pritchard (Acari: Tetranychidae) was first detected from black nightshade Solanum nigrum (Solanaceae) near Auckland Airport on 21 May 2020 (Ministry for Primary Industries. 2020a, b; Fan et al. 2021). A preliminary investigation revealed more mites within 0.5 km away from the original site. Subsequently, two more sites were found positive for TRSM, one was approximately 20 km north east of the original site and the other about 9 km east of the original site. The analysis of DNA sequences of the detected mites indicated that the TRSM in Auckland belonged to the Lineage I, indicating that there was a single incursion. A response was initiated, and a delimiting survey was carried out, targeting the areas along the State Highway One including the nearby agricultural production farms between Auckland and Whangarei, and Auckland and Hamilton. A total of 541 site searches were carried out and TRSM was detected in eight sites covering an area of 91.4 km2 across the Auckland region.
Fan, Q.-H., Li, D., Bennett, S. & Balan, R.K. (2021) Diagnosis of a new to New Zealand spider mite, Tetranychus evansi Baker and Pritchard, 1960 (Acari: Tetranychidae). New Zealand Entomologist, 44(1), 59–70. https://doi.org/10.1080/00779962.2021.1951932
Ministry for Primary Industries (2020a) Priority pests and diseases of biosecurity concern to plant health list. Available from: https://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/protection-and-response/finding-and-reporting-pests-and-diseases/priority-pests-plantaquatic/horticultural-pests/tomato-red-spider-mite/ (Accessed 25 May 2020)
Ministry for Primary Industries (2020b) Tomato red spider mite, Tetranychus evansi, two small populations of the tomato red spider mite were found in Auckland in May 2020. Find out about the mite and what’s being done. Available from: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/responding/alerts/tomato-red-spider-mite/ (Accessed 25 May 2020)