Main pest species are Tiger pear (Opuntia aurantiaca) and Common prickly pear (Opuntia stricta). The photograph is of Opuntia stricta. These species are NOT similar in appearance. Tiger pear is low growing and has a stem consisting of a series of rounded segments (similar in some respects to Hudson pear and Devil’s rope pear) while Common prickly pear has a taller growth habit and the stem consists of a series of fleshy segments each to 30cm long, 15 cm wide and 1 to 2 cm thick. Methods of spread are similar, but Tiger pear does not produce viable seeds. Control methods are also similar except that biological control has been spectacularly successful in the control of Common prickly pear but less so for Tiger pear.
Click on the following link to watch a video on ‘how to identify Prickly Pear’ – Macquarie Valley & Lachlan Valley Weeds Authority Committees