First report of Aceria kuko in Germany
The NPPO of Germany recently reported the presence of Aceria kuko (Acari: Eriophyidae) in Baden-Württemberg. This gall mite originates from south-east Asia (China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Taiwan) and has a limited host range which includes Lycium barbarum, L. chinensis, Solanum nigrum and Capsicum annuum (all Solanaceae). Its ability to feed on other Solanaceae is unknown. In Baden-Württemberg, A. kuko was found outdoors on ‘Goji berry’ plants (Lycium spp., and presumably in this case Lycium barbarum) which were grown in an orchard for fruit production. Affected plants showed leaf galls, and the mite was identified on the basis of its morphological characters.
The regional plant protection service of Baden-Württemberg is taking measures to eradicate A. kuko. Investigations are being carried out to trace the origin of the infested plants. It is suspected that they have been imported from China via other countries in Europe, and most probably through Internet sales.
The pest status of Aceria kuko in Germany is officially declared as: Transient, actionable, under eradication.
EPPO note: This is not the first time that the association of A. kuko with imports of Goji berry plants (berries are used for their nutrient richness and antioxidant qualities) is mentioned in the EPPO region. In 2008, the NPPO of the United Kingdom had also identified the pest on Lycium spp. plants which were all subsequently destroyed (see EPPO RS 2008/222).
NPPO of Germany (2011-09).