EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 05 - 2005 Num. article: 2005/077

Ctenarytaina spatulata is a new psyllid pest of Eucalyptus: addition to the EPPO Alert List

Over the years, several eucalyptus pests have been introduced into Europe, such as Gonipterus scutellatus, Phoracantha semipunctata, P. recurva, Ctenarytaina eucalypti. More recently, a new psyllid, Ctenarytaina spatulata, has been found in Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, and can be added to this growing list of introduced eucalyptus pests. Although, its economic impact has not been evaluated, the EPPO Secretariat decided it could usefully be added to the EPPO Alert List.

Ctenarytaina spatulata (Homoptera: Psyllidae – Eucalyptus psyllid)
Why: The Eucalyptus psyllid, Ctenarytaina spatulata, came to our attention because it was recently introduced into several European countries.

Where: C. spatulata originates from Australia but it has then spread to other parts of the world. In Europe, it was first found in Portugal and later in other Mediterranean countries.
EPPO region: France (Var in 2003), Italy (Liguria in 2003), Portugal (central part in 2002, widespread in 2003), Spain (Galicia in 2003, Extremadura and Andalucía in 2004).
North America: USA (California in 1991).
South America: Brazil (1992), Uruguay (1994).
Oceania: Australia, New Zealand (1990).

On which plants: C. spatulata has been observed on many different species of Eucalyptus (e.g. E. camaldulensis, E. globulus, E. grandis, E. parvifolia, E. viminalis). In France and Italy, it was only seen on E. parvifolia which is cultivated for cut foliage. In Spain it was found on E. globulus.

Damage: Adults and nymphs feed on plant sap. They are mainly found on mature shoots, especially in the apical part of the tree, in contrast with C. eucalypti which prefers young shoots. Attacked shoots show small necrotic lesions, proliferation of lateral shoots, leaf distortions. C. spatulata produces large amounts of honeydew on which sooty moulds can develop. In Brazil, it is suspected that C. spatulata could be involved in a growth disorder of E. grandis called ‘seca dos ponteiros’ (lateral sprouting, foliar spots, cankers at petiole insertion, tip dieback). This psyllid has several overlapping generations per year. First observations showed that C. spatulata is mainly present during winter and beginning of spring. For the moment, economic impact is difficult to assess, but in Liguria some producers had part of their production of cut foliage refused for selling or exporting because of the presence of honeydew and sooty mould. In Brazil and Uruguay, it is reported that severe damage is caused by both C. spatulata and C. eucalypti. C. spatulata is similar to C. eucalypti, but using a binocular several morphological characteristics can distinguish them.
Pictures of C. spatulata can be viewed on Internet: http://www.nzffa.org.nz/Eucalypt_pest_control/psyllids_text.html

Dissemination: Although data is lacking on the biology of C. spatulata, it can be assumed that winged adults can fly from plant to plant and that psyllids can also be dispersed by the wind. Over long distances, trade of infested plants and cut foliage can ensure C. spatulata dissemination.

Pathway: Plants for planting, cut foliage of Eucalyptus.

Possible risks: Eucalyptus are widely planted for forestry and ornamental purposes around the Mediterranean Basin. No data is available on chemical control for C. spatulata. In southern France and northern Italy, it is noted that C. eucalypti is usually well controlled by an introduced hymenopteran parasitoid Psyllaephagus pilosus. But no data on the efficacy of this parasitoid against C. spatulata is available. Although, the economic impact of C. spatulata has not been assessed yet, it seems desirable to avoid whenever possible any further spread of this type of pest. It can also be added that other Eucalyptus psyllids are currently reported as invasive species (e.g. Glycaspis brimblecombei (EPPO Alert List), Blastopsylla occidentalis).

EPPO RS 2005/077
Panel review date        -        Entry date 2005-05


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