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 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
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
Claviceps fusiformis (pearl millet ergot)Sclerotia mixed with seed Yes Bhat, 1977
Coccinia grandis (scarlet-fruited ivy gourd) Yes Muniappan et al., 2009
Cocos nucifera (coconut)Coconut Yes Yes Chan and Elevitch, 2006
Corbicula fluminea (Asian clam) Yes Roberts, 2005; 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 Roberts, 2005; 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
Dacus ciliatus (lesser pumpkin fly) Yes Yes
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
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; Roberts, 2005
Hedychium coronarium (white butterfly ginger lily) Yes
Heterotis niloticus (African bonytongue)Deliberate Yes Yes
Hyptis suaveolens (pignut) Yes Roberts, 2005
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 Roberts, 2005; Roberts, 2005; Marine Institute Ireland, 2009; Marine Sacs Project UK, 2009; Sharp, 1998; Sharp et al., 1998
Luffa acutangula (angled luffa) Yes PROTA, 2016
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
Phyllostachys flexuosa (drooping timber bamboo)Shoots consumed as a 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
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
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
Ziziphus mauritiana (jujube) Yes Azam-Ali et al., 2006
Ziziphus spina-christi (Christ's thorn jujube)Fruits Yes Yes Orwa et al., 2009