Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Livestock (pathway vector)



Livestock (pathway vector)


  • Last modified
  • 12 June 2017
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pathway Vector
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Livestock (pathway vector)
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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Livestock (pathway vector)

Species Transported by Vector

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SpeciesNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Acacia glauca (wild dividivi) Yes
Acacia hockii Yes Gwyne (1969)
Acacia mearnsii (black wattle)Also wild animals Yes Milton et al. (2003)
Acacia mellifera (blackthorn) Yes
Acanthospermum australe (spiny-bur) Yes
Achyranthes aspera (devil's horsewhip) Yes Yes Bullock and Primack (1977)
Aegilops cylindrica Yes
Agropyron cristatum (crested wheatgrass)attachment to sheep fleece Yes Yes Bläss et al. (2010)
Albizia lebbeck (Indian siris)Seeds are eaten and dispersed by cattle Yes Yes `t Mannetje and Jones (1992); Lowry (1994)
Albizia niopoides (silk tree)Forage for cattle Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2019)
Albizia procera (white siris)Seeds are eaten by livestock Yes Yes Orwa et al. (2009)
Alopecurus myosuroides (black-grass) Yes Salisbury (1961)
Alyssum desertorum (desert madwort)By seed ingestion and defecation in domestic and wild animals; on animals' bodies Yes Olliff et al. (2001)
Amaranthus palmeri (Palmer amaranth)Seeds used for cattle due to high protein content Yes Kindscher et al. (2018)
Amaranthus tuberculatus (rough-fruited water-hemp)Seeds and plant parts can adhere to livestock and other animals Yes Costea et al. (2005)
Ambrosia confertiflora Yes Yes
Ammotragus lervia (aoudad)Originally introduced as an appealing exotic game species in some Western countries (USA and Spain) Yes Yes Cassinello (1998)
Argemone mexicana (Mexican poppy)Seeds adhering to animals Yes Mankeleja et al. (2014)
Aristida ternipes (spidergrass)Seeds attached to fur and hair Yes Yes Allred (2003)
Austrocylindropuntia cylindrica (cane cactus) Yes
Austrocylindropuntia subulata (Eve’s needle cactus) Yes
Avipoxvirus Yes Yes
Axonopus fissifolius Yes
Balanites aegyptiaca (simple-thorned torchwood)Fruits are eaten by livestock Yes Orwa et al. (2009)
Bassia hyssopifolia (fivehook bassia) Yes Yes
Bidens pilosa (blackjack)Seed attached to animal fur Yes Yes Sankaran and Suresh (2013)
Blattella germanica (German cockroach) Yes Booth et al. (2011)
Boerhavia coccinea (scarlet spiderling)sticky seeds attach to animals Yes Jurado et al. (1991)
Boerhavia diffusa (red spiderling)Sticky fruits adhere to animal fur Yes PIER (2015)
Bothriochloa pertusa (pitted beard grass)Seeds, plant fragments Yes
Brachypodium sylvaticum (slender false brome)Seeds, likely Yes Yes Heinken and Raudnitschka (2002)
Brassica tournefortii (African mustard)Seeds Yes Yes Minnich and Sanders (2000)
Bunias orientalis (Turkish warty-cabbage) Yes Yes
Canavalia gladiata (sword bean)Used to feed cattle and poultry Yes Yes PROTA (2019)
Carduus pycnocephalus (Italian thistle) Yes
Carpobrotus edulis (hottentot fig) Yes
Cassia grandis (pink shower)Cattle feed on pods and seeds germinate, although they rarely survive in open pastures Yes Janzen (1971)
Cecropia peltata (trumpet tree)Wild animals Yes Binggelli (1999)
Cenchrus biflorus (Indian sandbur) Yes
Cenchrus ciliaris (Buffel grass) Yes
Centaurea melitensis (Maltese starthistle) Yes DiTomaso and Healy (2007)
Centaurea solstitialis (yellow starthistle) Yes
Ceratocephala testiculata (bur buttercup)seeds attach to skin, wool or feathers Yes
Chloris gayana (Rhodes grass)Seeds may be spread by animals and cattle Yes Yes Weeds of Australia (2020)
Chromolaena odorata (Siam weed) Yes
Chrysomya bezziana (Old World screw-worm)OWS Larvae via live sheep trade; OWS Adults via returning, empty livestock ships Yes Yes Kloft et al. (1981); Rajapaksa and Spradbery (1989)
Clitoria ternatea (butterfly-pea)Seeds dispersed in cattle dung Yes Yes Staples (1992)
Cochliomyia hominivorax (New World screwworm)Moderate risk Yes Yes
Cornus sericea (redosier dogwood)Eaten and likely transported by water Yes Kelly (1990)
Crassula helmsii (Australian swamp stonecrop) Yes Wicks (2004)
Crataegus monogyna (hawthorn) Yes Alverson and Sigg (2008)
Crescentia cujete (calabash tree)Horses and cattle can break the fruits, eat the seeds and disperse them in the dung Yes Janzen and Martin (1982)
Crotalaria retusa (rattleweed)Seeds can be dispersed by animals Yes Yes Flora of China Editorial Committee (2012)
Cryptostegia madagascariensis (Madagascar rubbervine)Seeds Yes Yes PIER (2012)
Cuscuta monogyna (eastern dodder)Seeds can pass through the digestive system of ruminants Yes Nazari and Tavakoli (1995)
Cylindropuntia fulgida (jumping cholla)As shown for other Cylindropuntia species Yes Deltoro et al. (2014)
Cylindropuntia rosea (hudson pear)As shown for other Cylindropuntia species Yes Deltoro et al. (2014)
Cymbopogon nardus (citronella grass) Yes NARO (2004)
Cynara cardunculus (cardoon)Seeds Yes Kelly (2000)
Cynodon nlemfuensis (African Bermuda-grass)Seeds, stolens Yes Yes Cook et al. (2005)
Cynodon plectostachyus (African stargrass)Pasture grass Yes Cook et al. (2005)
Cynoglossum amabile (Chinese forget-me-not)Seeds Yes Melcher et al. (2000)
Cytisus scoparius (Scotch broom)Seeds Yes Yes Peterson and Raj Prasad (1998)
Datura innoxia (downy thorn apple) Yes
Daucus carota (carrot)Can attach to sheep wool for up to 6 months Yes Yes Manzano and Malo (2006)
Descurainia sophia (flixweed) Yes Blackshaw and Rode (1991)
Desmodium incanum (creeping beggerweed)Sticky seeds could attach to furs, pelts etc. Yes Yes Mori and Brown (1998)
Dichanthium aristatum (angelton bluestem)Used worldwide as pasture/fodder grass Yes Yes Cook et al. (2005)
Dichanthium caricosum (nadi blue grass)Eaten by cattle, sheep, goats and horses Yes Yes Cook et al. (2005)
Digitaria ciliaris (southern crabgrass)Seeds Yes Yes Holm et al. (1979)
Digitaria insularis (sourgrass) Yes
Drymaria arenarioides (alfombrilla)Although toxic when consumed, it is reported as spread in the faeces of ruminants and rodents Yes Allison (1977)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)Seeds Yes Yes Waterhouse (1994)
Eichhornia paniculata (Brazilian water hyacinth) Yes Husband and Barrett (1998)
Elaeagnus umbellata (autumn olive)Seeds are eaten by animals Yes USDA-NRCS (2016)
Elephantopus mollis (elephant's foot) Yes Queensland Government (2014)
Eragrostis lehmanniana (Lehmann lovegrass)Seeds dispersed as livestock is sold or transported Yes Yes USDA Forest Service (2014)
Eragrostis plana (South African lovegrass)Seeds keep viable in cattle digestive tract and are dispersed as livestock is sold or transported Yes Yes Reis (1993)
Erythrina berteroana (coralbean)Leaves and seeds consumed by livestock Yes Orwa et al. (2009)
Euphorbia terracina (false caper) Yes
Festuca arundinacea (tall fescue)Seeds attach to animals Yes
Fimbristylis littoralis (lesser fimbristylis)Seeds eaten by livestock Yes Yes Holm et al. (1977)
Foeniculum vulgare (fennel) Yes
Galinsoga parviflora (gallant soldier) Yes Yes Damalas (2008)
Galinsoga quadriradiata (shaggy soldier)Seeds can be dispersed adhered to fur Yes Yes Kabuce and Priede (2010)
Globodera rostochiensis (yellow potato cyst nematode) Yes
Glyceria maxima (reed sweet-grass) Yes Parsons and Cuthbertson (1992)
Gossypium barbadense (Gallini cotton) Yes Yes PROTA (2017)
Heracleum sosnowskyi (Sosnowskyi's hogweed)Seeds may get attached to animal fur (e.g. sheep and cattle) Yes Yes Kabuce (2006)
Heteropogon contortus (spear grass) Yes University of Hawaii (2009)
Hyoscyamus niger (black henbane)potential movement as seed; despite toxicity, livestock will consume on occasion Yes LaFantasie (2008)
Hyparrhenia rufa (Jaragua grass) Yes Yes Williams and Baruch (2000)
Hyptis brevipes (lesser roundweed) Yes PIER (2017)
Indigofera spicata (creeping indigo)Hooves and waste of livestock who graze on it. Yes Morton (1989)
Indigofera trita (Asian indigo)Seeds Yes Yes PROTA (2014)
Indigofera trita subsp. scabra (Asian Indigo)Seeds Yes Yes PROTA (2014)
Isatis tinctoria (dyer's woad)Fruits Yes Yes Farah et al. (1988)
Jatropha curcas (jatropha) Yes Pitt (1999)
Jatropha gossypiifolia (bellyache bush) Yes
Juncus effusus (common rush) Yes
Juncus ensifolius (swordleaf rush) Yes
Juncus planifolius (broadleaf rush) Yes Loope et al. (1992)
Kyllinga nemoralis (white kyllinga) Yes MPI (2016)
Lagenaria siceraria (bottle gourd)Fruits Yes Yes PROTA (2018)
Lepidium latifolium (perennial pepperweed) Yes
Leucaena leucocephala (leucaena) Yes
Leucanthemum vulgare (oxeye daisy) Yes
Limnocharis flava (yellow bur-head) Yes
Limnomysis benedeniInadvertent stocking with commercially interesting animals. Yes Yes Aladin et al. (2003); Dumont (2006); Velde et al. (2000); Wittmann and Ariani (2009)
Linaria vulgaris (common toadflax) Yes Zouhar (2003)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)Stuck on mud to, also, more importantly on wild animals Yes Thompson et al. (1987)
Maconellicoccus hirsutus (pink hibiscus mealybug)Larvae picked up and carried by passing birds and mammals Yes Harman (in press)
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro)Seed ingested and dispersed by cattle Yes
Martynia annua (tiger's claw)Seeds/“clawed” fruit Yes Yes Weeds of Australia (2016)
Medicago lupulina (black medick)Forage plant for livestock Yes Yes USDA-ARS (2017)
Medicago polymorpha (bur clover) Yes Yes
Mentha pulegium (pennyroyal) Yes Yes
Mesosphaerum pectinatum (comb bushmint) Yes
Mikania micrantha (bitter vine) Yes
Mimosa arenosa (elegant mimosa)Seeds Yes Yes Francis (2004)
Mimosa casta (graceful mimosa)Forage for goats Yes Yes Muir (2009)
Mimosa ceratonia (climbing mimosa)Forage for goats Yes Yes Muir (2009)
Mimosa pudica (sensitive plant) Yes
Mononychellus tanajoa (cassava green mite)Eggs, crawlers/adults. Rare pathway Yes
Neonotonia wightii (perennial soybean)Viable seed passed by livestock Yes Gardener et al. (1993a); Gardener et al. (1993b)
Ocimum gratissimum (African basil)Seed and stem fragment Yes Yes PROSEA (2018)
Oldenlandia lancifolia (calycose mille graines)Seeds Yes Yes Pringle (1982)
Onopordum illyricum (Illyrian thistle) Yes
Oplismenus hirtellus subsp. undulatifolius (wavyleaf basketgrass) Yes
Opuntia engelmannii (cactus apple) Yes
Orobanche ramosa (branched broomrape)Grazing animals Yes Jacobsohn (1984)
Parmentiera aculeata (cucumber tree)Seeds are dispersed by cattle Yes Miceli-Méndez et al. (2008)
Parthenium hysterophorus (parthenium weed)Attaches to animal fur Yes PAG (2000)
Paspalum conjugatum (buffalo grass)Seeds adhered to animal fur Yes Yes Manidool (1992)
Paspalum millegrana (yerba brava)Young plants are consumed by cattle Yes Yes Más and Garcia-Molinari (2006)
Paspalum notatum (Bahia grass)Seeds dispersed in manure Yes Violi (2000)
Paspalum urvillei (Vasey grass)As a fodder for livestock Yes Yes FAO (2012b); PROTA (2018)
Paspalum virgatum (sword grass)Young plants consumed by cattle Yes Yes Sistachs and Leon (1987)
Passiflora edulis (passionfruit)Seeds Yes Yes Francis (2000)
Passiflora tarminiana (banana passionfruit)Feral pigs in Hawaii and, possibly, New Zealand Yes Beavon (2007); PIER (2012)
Pennisetum purpureum (elephant grass)Contaminant in fodder and silage crops Yes Yes Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (2011)
Pennisetum setaceum (fountain grass)Seeds Yes Halvorson and Guertin (2003)
Petiveria alliacea (guinea hen weed)Seeds Yes Yes Vibrans (2009)
Phalaris aquatica (bulbous canarygrass) Yes
Phleum pratense (timothy grass) Yes
Phytophthora alni species complex (alder Phytophthora)Movement of contaminated soil by grazing animals; suggested but not specifically demonstrated Yes Redondo et al. (2015)
Poa annua (annual meadowgrass)Seeds can be dispersed adhered to livestock Yes Yes Holm et al. (1997)
Polygonum arenastrum (common knotweed)Seeds Yes Wells and Lauenroth (2007)
Polypogon monspeliensis (annual beard grass) Yes Yes
Portulaca pilosa (kiss-me-quick) Yes
Prunus serotina (black cherry)Cattle are reported to eat P. serotina fruits Yes Yes Ehrenburg et al. (2008)
Pseudelephantopus spicatus (false elephant’s foot)Fruits attached to animal hair Yes Ward (1975)
Pueraria phaseoloides (tropical kudzu)Seeds Yes Yes Cook et al. (2005)
Rhamphicarpa fistulosaFree-grazing cattle can transport seeds on fur and hooves and through ingestion and excretion Yes
Rubus rosifolius (roseleaf raspberry)Fruits are often consumed by cattle Yes Yes ISSG (2010)
Salvia occidentalis (West Indian sage)The viscid calyces often adhere to the feathers and feet of small birds e.g. chickens Yes Fern (2014); Standley and Williams (1973)
Salvia splendens (scarlet sage) Yes Yes DAISIE (2014)
Salvinia auriculata (giant salvinia) Yes Yes ISSG (2009)
Sechium edule (chayote)Used as fodder Yes Yes PROTA (2018)
Senna aculeata (senna)Livestock may disperse seeds Yes Yes Queensland Government (2020)
Senna italica (Senegal senna)Seeds are eaten and possibly dispersed by cattle Yes Yes Okeyo and Bosch (2007)
Sesbania sericea (silky sesban)Seeds Yes Yes Francis (2000)
Setaria verticillata (bristly foxtail)Attached to fur/wool Yes
Sida acuta (sida) Yes Smith (2002)
Sida repens (Javanese fanpetals)Fruits attached to fur Yes Yes Raju and Rani (2016)
Solanum capsicoides (cockroach berry)Associated with pastures and areas disturbed by cows Yes Markle et al. (2014)
Solanum viarum (tropical soda apple)seeds Yes Yes Mullahey et al. (2006)
Sonchus asper (spiny sow-thistle)Seeds consumed and dispersed by livestock Yes Yes Hutchinson et al. (1984)
Sonchus oleraceus (common sowthistle)Seeds as contaminant Yes Yes Holm et al. (1977)
Sorghum halepense (Johnson grass) Yes
Spermacoce verticillata (shrubby false buttonwood) Yes
Sporobolus africanus (rat’s tail grass) Yes
Sporobolus pyramidalis (giant rat’s tail grass) Yes Yes
Squalius cephalus (European chub) Yes
Stachytarpheta cayennensis (blue snakeweed) Yes Weeds of Australia (2011)
Taeniatherum caput-medusae (medusahead wildrye) Yes Yes Nafus and Davies (2014)
Tagetes erecta (Mexican marigold)Adhered to animals Yes Yes Cortés-Flores et al. (2013)
Tamarindus indica (tamarind)Seed dispersed by ruminants Yes Yes Orwa et al. (2009)
Thecaphora solani (potato smut)carrying soil Yes Torres (2001)
Trifolium angustifolium (narrow-leaf clover)Seeds attach to the fleece of sheep during grazing Yes Manzano and Malo (2006)
Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover) Yes
Tripsacum dactyloides (eastern gamagrass)Seeds Yes Cook et al. (2005)
Triumfetta bogotensis (parquet bur)Burs attach to animal hair, including horses Yes Standley and Steyermark (1949)
Triumfetta rhomboidea (diamond burbark)Burs attach to animals’ hair Yes Yes Raju and Rani (2017)
Triumfetta semitriloba (burweed) Yes
Ulex europaeus (gorse)Seeds in mud on hooves Yes Tulang (1992)
Urena sinuata (bur mallow)Spiny fruits and barbed seed Yes Yes Liogier (1988)
Urochloa distachya (signal grass)Forage grass Yes Yes New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (2015)
Urochloa mutica (para grass)Seeds, runners and cuttings Yes Yes Cook et al. (2005)
Urtica dioica (stinging nettle)seeds adhere to hair or fur, or can pass through digestive systems Yes
Vachellia macracantha (porknut)disperse seeds after eating pods Yes Yes Casiva et al. (2004)
Ventenata dubia (North Africa grass)When seeds are present Yes Yes
Vulpia myuros (annual fescue)Seeds Yes Wallace (1997)
Xanthium spinosum (bathurst burr) Yes Yes PIER (2013)
Xanthomonas vasicola pv. vasculorum (bacterial leaf streak of corn) Yes Sivitis (2017)
Ziziphus mauritiana (jujube) Yes Land Protection (2006)