EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 09 - 2006 Num. article: 2006/190

Addition of Leptocybe invasa to the EPPO Alert List


The EPPO Secretariat would like to draw the attention of Mediterranean countries to the current spread of insects damaging eucalyptus foliage. Some insect psyllids have already been added to the EPPO Alert List (Ctenarytaina spatulata, and previously Glycaspis brimblecombei) but it was felt that leaf gall-inducing insects such as Leptocybe invasa (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) could also present a risk to eucalyptus nurseries and plantations. At the moment, only L. invasa is being added to the Alert List, but there are other species (e.g. Ophelimus eucalypti, O. maskelli, Aprostocetus) which could present similar risks.

Leptocybe invasa (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae – Blue gum chalcid)
Why: Leptocybe invasa is a newly described species which is currently spreading in many countries around the Mediterranean Basin and in Africa, causing damage to eucalyptus young plantations and nurseries.

Where:
EPPO region: Algeria, France (including Corsica), Israel, Italy, Jordan, Morocco, Spain, Turkey.
Africa: Algeria, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Syria, Tanzania, Uganda.
Asia: Iran, Israel, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam.
Oceania: L. invasa is thought to originate from Australia, but its situation in this country is unknown.

On which plants: L. invasa attacks many Eucalyptus species (e.g. E. botryoides, E. bridgesiana, E. camaldulensis, E. globulus, E. gunii, E. grandis, E. saligna, E. maidenii, E. robusta, E. tereticornis, E. viminalis).

Damage: L. invasa causes galls on the mid-ribs, petioles and stems of new shoots of eucalyptus trees. Heavy infestations can lead to deformed leaves and shoots, and a growth reduction of the tree. Serious damage to young plantations and nursery seedlings has been reported but tree mortality has apparently not been observed. Adult females (1.1-1.4 mm) insert their eggs in the epidermis of young leaves, on both sides of the mid-rib, in the petioles and in the parenchyma of twigs. Larvae develop inside round galls (about 2.7 mm wide), adults then emerge leaving round exit holes. So far, only females have been observed (reproducing by parthenogenesis), with the exception of one record describing males in Turkey. In Iran, Israel and Turkey, two to three overlapping generations per year have been observed.

Dissemination: Adult can fly but no data is available on natural spread of this insect. Trade of plants for planting can move the pest over long distances.

Pathway: Plants for planting of eucalyptus, cut foliage?

Possible risks: Eucalyptus are widely grown around the Mediterranean Basin for forestry and ornamental purposes. Currently, no control measures are available against L. invasa, although research is being carried out to identify potential natural enemies. Chemical control may be available in nurseries but will be more difficult in natural environments. Much data is lacking on the taxonomy, current geographical distribution, biology, and economic impact. It is felt that many species attacking eucalyptus foliage are being moved with trade, therefore more precautions would be needed when exchanging eucalyptus plants for planting.

EPPO RS 2006/190
Panel review date        -        Entry date 2006-09


Sources

Almatni W, Mayhoob M (2005) Eucalyptus gall-wasp Leptocybe invasa Fisher & La Salle (Eulophidae, Hymenoptera), a new insect in the Mediterranean region and Syria. Arab and Near East Plant Protection Newsletter, FAO, no. 40, p 38.
Hesami S, Alemansoor H, Seyedebrahimi S (2005) Report of Leptocybe invasa ( Hym.: Eulophidae ), gall wasp of Ecalyptus camaldulensis with notes on biology in Shiraz vicinity. Journal of Entomological Society of Iran 24(2), 99-108 (abst.).
Mendel Z, Protasov A, Fisher N, La Salle J (2004) Taxonomy and biology of Leptocybe invasa gen. & sp. n. (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), and invasive gall inducer on Eucalyptus. Australian Journal of Entomology 43(2), 101 (abst.).
INTERNET
Doganlar O (2005) Occurrence of Leptocybe invasa Fisher & La Salle, 2004 (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) on Eucalyptus camaldulensis in Turkey, with a description of the male sex. Zoology in the Middle East 35, 112-114 (abst.) http://trophort.com/004/254/004254335.html
Forest Invasive Species Network for Africa – FAO. New outbreaks. http://www.fao.org/forestry/site/26951/en
FREDON Corse – Leptocybe invasa. http://www.fredon-corse.com/ravageurs/leptocybe-invasa.htm
Hesami S, Alemansoor H, Seyedebrahimi S (2005) Report of Leptocybe invasa (Hym.: Eulophidae), gall wasp of Eucalyptus camaldulensis with notes on biology in Shiraz vicinity. Journal of Entomological Society of Iran 24(2), 99-108 (abst.) http://trophort.com/004/300/004300193.html
Pest Alert. Blue gum chalcid. Tree Protection News, vol 10, November 2005. http://fabinet.up.ac.za/tpcp/newsletters/TPCP_Newsletter_Nov_2005.pdf
UNDP China. Environmental and social impact analysis. Stora Enso plantation project in Guangxi, China. http://www.undp.org.cn/downloads/otherlocal/FinalESIA.pdf
Vietnam information for science and technology advance. A strange insect damaging eucalypts has occurred in our country. http://english.vista.gov.vn/english/st_documents_abstract/200502185483126039/200503107119066299/200503151971253629/