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Soldier fly diagnostics, distribution, and development of an artificial diet

Soldier fly, a root-feeding pest of sugarcane, is comprised of a complex of multiple Inopus species causing productivity losses in some key cane-growing regions.

This project will evaluate the relative importance of individual species for the Australian sugarcane industry. Species diversity and geographic distribution will be determined through targeted area-wide ground surveys, in major cane-growing regions. During surveys, along with species determination, additional data on relative hostplant susceptibility, soil preference and damage will be assessed. Molecular and morphological diagnostics will be utilised for the development of rapid identification of soldier fly species. New bioassays, including artificial diets and plant-based, for screening novel control agents and varietal tolerance together with soldier fly identification kits will be developed for key species of economic importance. These novel screening techniques and improved species diagnostics, will form the fundamental basis for future novel and targeted control options for selected sugarcane growing regions, to avoid major productivity losses.

Project date

1 Jul 2023-1 May 2025
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Principal investigator

Kevin Powell

Research organisation

Sugar Research Australia Limited (SRA)

Project funded by


Sugar Research Australia (SRA)

SRA invests in and manages a portfolio of research, development and adoption projects that drive productivity, profitability and sustainability for …

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  • Organisation type

    Research funding body, Research service providers

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