WHAT IS THE FALL ARMYWORM?
* This exotic pest is a big brown moth, with a striped caterpillar larval stage
* It's a different type of armyworm to those commonly found in southern Australia
WHERE IS IT FROM?
* It originated from tropical and subtropical parts of the Americas
* Since 2016 it has rapidly spread to other parts of the world
IS IT FOUND IN AUSTRALIA?
* It was detected last week on the northern Torres Strait islands of Saibai and Erub
* This is the first time it's been found anywhere in Australia
WHY IS IT A PROBLEM?
* Larvae can decimate crops overnight
* They eat more than 350 plant species including wheat, sorghum, cotton, maize, fruit and vegetables
* The R strain found in the Torres Strait prefers rice, millet and pasture grasses, but will still eat other crops
* Adult moths can fly up to 100km each night
WHAT IS BEING DONE?
* Authorities are trying to assess how far it has spread
* Traps will be set up in northern and central Queensland
* These traps will be baited with pheromones to lure male moths
* Authorities will also ramp up monitoring on the illegal importation or movement of infested plant material
* Anyone should report signs of the pest to Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23