EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 05 - 2008 Num. article: 2008/106

Ditylenchus destructor does not occur in Australia

In Australia, although the presence of Ditylenchus destructor (EU Annexes) had been reported in the past in New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia, investigations in each individual states (see below) have shown that all these records were erroneous. In addition, recent surveys or surveillance programmes carried out in Australia have failed to detect this nematode.
The situation of Ditylenchus destructor in Australia can be described as follows: Absent, all previous records arose from taxonomic confusion with other Ditylenchus species or were erroneous, confirmed by general surveillance.

New South Wales: there was a single published record for D. destructor mentioning that it was found in mushroom compost (Anon., 1959). No other records have been made since 1959. It is now considered that this old record was based on a misidentification of D. myceliophagus, a species which was first described in 1958 and closely resembles D. destructor.

South Australia: the nematology diagnostic service which has been operating for many years has never detected the presence of D. destructor during the testing of a wide variety of susceptible hosts. The record appearing in the EPPO datasheet is considered erroneous.

Tasmania: a paper from Thistlethwayte (1961) seems to be the source of the suggested presence of D. destructor in Tasmania which was later quoted in other publications. It is now considered that this most probably resulted from confusion with D. dipsaci. Since 1992, Tasmania has undertaken annual surveys of 20% of its potato crops for other nematodes (Globodera spp.) and if D. destructor was present these surveys should have detected it. In addition, extensive surveys for nematodes have recently been conducted on carrot crops (host plants) in Tasmania and D. destructor was not found.

Victoria and Western Australia: D. destructor has never been detected in any targeted or general surveillance programmes and there have never been any published records concerning these states. Earlier records appearing in the EPPO datasheet are considered erroneous.


Plant Biosecurity Australia, 2008-06.
Anonymous (1959) The Agricultural Gazette of New South Wales 70, 648-650.
Thistlethwayte B (1961) Plant diseases caused by eelworms. Tasmanian Journal of Agriculture 32, 197-205.