Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Food (pathway cause)



Food (pathway cause)


  • Last modified
  • 12 June 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pathway Cause
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Food (pathway cause)
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Food (pathway cause)

Species Transported by Cause

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SpeciesNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Achatina fulica (giant African land snail)Introduced as a food Yes Yes
Alternaria yali-inficiens (chocolate spot of Ya Li Pear) Yes Roberts (2005)
Amaranthus cruentus (red amaranth) Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2016)
Amaranthus tricolor (edible amaranth) Yes Yes
Ameiurus melas (black bullhead) Yes Yes
Arracacia xanthorrhiza (arracacha) Yes Yes Hermann (1997)
Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit) Yes Yes Ragone (2011)
Bactrocera dorsalis (Oriental fruit fly) Yes Yes
Balanites aegyptiaca (simple-thorned torchwood)Edible fruits Yes Booth and Wickens (1988)
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) Yes Schloegel et al. (2009)
Bixa orellana (annatto) Yes Yes Morton (1960)
Blattella germanica (German cockroach) Yes Yes Angeli Adegli (1979)
Blighia sapida (akee apple)Consumed as a vegetable and intentionally introduced to many countries for this purpose Yes Yes PROTA (2019); Rashford (2001)
Brassica nigra (black mustard)deliberate Yes Yes
Brassica rapa (field mustard)Cultivated and sold at markets worldwide Yes Yes PROTA (2018)
Bunias orientalis (Turkish warty-cabbage) Yes Yes
Capra hircus (goats) Yes
Ceratitis quinaria (five-spotted fruit fly)Trade of host fruit Yes Yes
Ceratitis rosa (Natal fruit fly)Possible introduction through infested fruits Yes Yes White and Elson-Harris (1994)
Channa argus argus (northern snakehead) Yes Yes Courtenay and Williams (2004)
Channa marulius (bullseye snakehead) Yes Yes Courtenay and Williams (2004); Froese and Pauly (2009)
Clavibacter michiganensis (bacterial canker of tomato) Yes Yes
Clavibacter sepedonicus (potato ring rot) Yes Yes
Claviceps fusiformis (pearl millet ergot)Sclerotia mixed with seed Yes Bhat (1977)
Cnidoscolus aconitifolius (chaya)Sold at local markets Yes Ross-Ibarra and Molina-Cruz (2002)
Coccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd) Yes Muniappan et al. (2009)
Cocos nucifera (coconut)Coconut Yes Yes Chan and Elevitch (2006)
Coptotermes gestroi (Asian subterranean termite)If wooden structures are used for storage and transportation Yes Yes
Corbicula fluminea (Asian clam) Yes Britton and Morton (1979); McMahon (2000)
Coriandrum sativum (coriander) Yes Yes
Cornu aspersum (common garden snail) Yes
Crepidula fornicata (American slipper limpet)Introduced to England at the end of the 19th century to meet growing demand for oysters Yes
Cromileptes altivelis (humpback grouper)For live food fish trade and also local consumption Yes Yes Sadovy (2000); Sadovy et al. (2007)
Ctenosaura similis (black spiny-tailed iguana)Released by people from Central America on Providencia and San Andres Islands Yes Dunn (1945); Forero-Medina et al. (2006); Rueda-Almonacid (1999)
Cucurbit aphid-borne yellows virus (Cucurbit aphid-borne yellows)Possible virus acquisition by aphid vectors from infected fruit skin (very rare, accidental) Yes Yes
Curtobacterium flaccumfaciens pv. flaccumfaciens (bacterial wilt of dry beans) Yes Yes
Dacus ciliatus (lesser pumpkin fly) Yes Yes
Diaporthe eres (apple leaf, branch and fruit fungus)From apples stored under different conditions; on Castanea sativa (chestnuts in store) Yes Yes Udayanga et al. (2014); Juhnevica-Radenkova et al. (2016); Florian et al. (2018)
Dickeya solani (black leg disease of potato)Bacterial ooze on storage materials and machinery, and waste from processing, can spread infection Yes Toth et al. (2011)
Dicrurus macrocercusUsed on a local basis as a subsistence food item when needed Yes BirdLife International (2012)
Diplazium esculentum (vegetable fern)Marketed locally for food and as an ornamental Yes Badola (2010); HEAR (2020)
Drosophila suzukii (spotted wing drosophila) Yes
Dysphania ambrosioides (Mexican tea)Leaf vegetable, aromatic herb Yes Yes Prota4U (2013)
Epiphyas postvittana (light brown apple moth) Yes
Esox lucius (pike)See distribution table and list Yes Yes
Etlingera elatior (torch ginger)Fruits are consumed by humans Yes Yes Ibrahim and Setyowati (1999)
Garrulax canorus (Chinese hwamei)Hunted for food in Hainan, China Yes Liang et al. (2013)
Globodera rostochiensis (yellow potato cyst nematode) Yes Yes Turner and Evans (1998)
Gracilaria tikvahiae (graceful red weed) Yes Yes University of Hawaii (2008)
Harmonia axyridis (harlequin ladybird)Found in UK on produce to a supermarket Yes Yes Brown et al. (2008b); Majerus et al. (2006)
Hedychium coronarium (white butterfly ginger lily) Yes
Heterotis niloticus (African bonytongue)Deliberate Yes Yes
Hyptis suaveolens (pignut) Yes Cullen et al. (2012)
Ictalurus punctatus (channel catfish) Yes Yes
Lagenaria siceraria (bottle gourd)Young fruits, young shoots and flowers are consumed by humans Yes Yes PROTA (2018)
Lepomis gibbosus (pumpkinseed) Yes Yes
Limax maximus (leopard slug)Accidental transport with vegetables and some fruits Yes Yes
Limnocharis flava (yellow bur-head) Yes
Litopenaeus vannamei (whiteleg shrimp)Frozen and processed exports sent worldwide Yes Yes Globefish (2007)
Littorina littorea (common periwinkle)Hypothesis Yes Yes Department of Marine Resources State of Maine (2009a); Department of Marine Resources State of Maine (2009b); Marine Institute Ireland (2009); Marine Sacs Project UK (2009); Sharp (1998); Sharp et al. (1998)
Luffa acutangula (angled luffa) Yes PROTA (2016)
Maconellicoccus hirsutus (pink hibiscus mealybug) Yes Harman (in press)
Mangifera indica (mango)Fruit production Yes Yes Bally (2006)
Maranta arundinacea (arrowroot)Arrowroot Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2018)
Melicoccus bijugatus (Spanish lime)Fruits are commonly consumed Yes Yes Acevedo-Rodríguez (2003)
Meloidogyne incognita (root-knot nematode)Root crops commonly found in the market. Yes Yes
Monilinia fructigena (brown rot)infected fruit Yes Mackie et al. (2005)
Monopterus albus (Asian swamp eel)Presumed to have been brought to Hawaii by Asian immigrants as a food fish Yes Fuller et al. (2011)
Morinda citrifolia (Indian mulberry)Fruits/ Leaves consumed as vegetable Yes Yes Nelson (2006)
Morus nigra (black mulberry)Edible fruits Yes Orwa et al. (2009)
Nopalea cochenillifera (cochineal cactus)Used as a vegetable Yes Yes Hanelt (2017)
Paenibacillus larvae Yes Yes Chen et al. (2008)
Pandanus tectorius (screw pine) Yes Yes
Paracoccus marginatus (papaya mealybug)Long distance and local trade in infested produce, especially papaya fruits Yes Yes Macharia et al. (2017)
Paratrechina longicornis (crazy ant) Yes
Pectobacterium brasiliense (soft rot and blackleg of ornamentals and potato) Yes
Pelophylax cf. bedriagaeEspecially in France and Switzerland Yes Pagano et al. (1997); Plötner (2005)
Penaeus monodon (giant tiger prawn)Frozen and processed exports from all main producer countries send worldwide for further processing Yes Yes Globefish (2007); National Marine Fisheries Service (2007)
Phthorimaea absoluta (tomato leafminer) Yes
Phyllostachys flexuosa (drooping timber bamboo)Shoots consumed as a vegetable Yes Yes Flora of China Editorial Committee (2017)
Phyllostachys reticulata (giant timber bamboo)Shoots consumed as vegetable Yes Yes Flora of China Editorial Committee (2017)
Physalis peruviana (Cape gooseberry)Not documented but likely dispersal as whole fruit for sale Yes Yes
Pomacea maculataSome ethnicities might culture snails or collect locally Yes Yes
Portulaca quadrifida (chickenweed) Yes
Pseudomonas cichorii (bacterial blight of endive) Yes Yes
Ralstonia solanacearum (bacterial wilt of potato) Yes Yes
Rapana venosa (veined rapana whelk) Yes
Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary)Stems and leaves sold in markets and groceries Yes Yes Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder (2014)
Rubus rosifolius (roseleaf raspberry)Fruits and leaves are consumed by humans Yes Yes ISSG (2010)
Salvelinus fontinalis (brook trout) Yes Yes
Sander lucioperca (pike-perch) Yes Yes
Sander vitreus (walleye)See distribution table and list Yes Yes
Sechium edule (chayote)Fruits, tubers, seeds and young shoots are consumed by humans Yes Yes PROSEA (2018)
Senna hirsuta (hairy senna)Young pods in salads, beverage in Laos Yes Yes
Solanum quitoense (naranjilla)Fruit crop Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2017)
Solanum tuberosum (potato)A staple crop worldwide, tubers capable of regenerating Yes Yes
Solenopsis papuana (Papuan thief ant) Yes Yes
Sporisorium pulverulentum (Sporisorium smut of wild Saccharum) Yes
Sternochetus mangiferae (mango seed weevil) Yes Yes
Syzygium malaccense (Malay apple)Fruits of species foraged for food and commonly sold in local supermarkets Yes Morton (1987); Panggabean (1991)
Tapinoma melanocephalum (ghost ant)Most frequently observed entering New Zealand on fresh produce such as coconuts Yes Yes Harris et al. (2005)
Terminalia catappa (Singapore almond)Fruits edible – consumed by humans Yes Yes Orwa et al. (2009)
Theba pisana (white garden snail) Yes Basinger (1927); Mead (1961)
Triphasia trifolia (limeberry)Fruits are edible Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2012)
Varanus indicus (ambon lizard) Yes Yes
Wasmannia auropunctata (little fire ant) Yes
Xanthomonas euvesicatoria pv. euvesicatoria (bacterial spot of tomato and pepper) Yes Yes
Xanthomonas hortorum pv. gardneri (bacterial spot of tomato and pepper) Yes Yes
Xanthomonas translucens pv. translucens (bacterial leaf streak of barley) Yes Yes
Xanthomonas vesicatoria (bacterial spot of tomato and pepper) Yes Yes
Ziziphus mauritiana (jujube) Yes Azam-Ali et al. (2006)
Ziziphus spina-christi (Christ's thorn jujube)Fruits Yes Yes Orwa et al. (2009)