EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 02 - 2012 Num. article: 2012/033

First reports of Aphis illinoisensis in Cyprus, Italy, Libya, Malta, Montenegro and Spain

The grapevine aphid, Aphis illinoisensis (Homoptera: Aphididae) originates from the Americas but was introduced into the Mediterranean region in the 2000s where it is showing an invasive behaviour. It was first detected in Turkey in 2002 and in Crete (GR) in 2005 where it rapidly spread across the island (EPPO RS 2007/034). In 2007, it was found in Algeria and Israel, and in 2009 it was first recorded in Tunisia (EPPO RS 2011/105 ; 106). In recent years, it continued to spread around the Mediterranean Basin and the following countries have reported its occurrence. For the moment, in most invaded areas no serious damage has been reported.

  • Cyprus
The occurrence of A. illinoisensis in Northern Cyprus is mentioned in a review about its spread around the Mediterranean Basin. It was first recorded there in 2006 (Havelka, 2011).

  • Italy (Sicilia)
The NPPO of Italy recently informed the EPPO Secretariat that A. illinoisensis was detected in Sicilia in the vineyards of the Etna area (Province of Catania). The origin of the infestation has not been clarified yet. In Sicilia, localized infestations were observed on a small percentage of young shoots growing in shaded areas. No infestations have been observed on grapes. Further investigations will be carried out during the next growing season to evaluate the spread of A. illinoisensis and its phytosanitary risk (NPPO, 2011).

  • Libya
In Libya, A. illinoisensis was detected for the first time in 2010, in several localities (Derna, Misurata and Zliten) along the Mediterranean coast (Havelka, 2011).

  • Malta
In Malta, the presence of A. illinoisensis was detected for the first time in 2009. The aphid was found on Vitis vinifera at Msida. The high levels of infestations and extensive damage observed indicated that it had probably been introduced earlier. A. illinoisensis has also been observed in the area of Hal-Far (in the south of Malta) in both private gardens and vineyards (Mifsud ; Pérez Hidalgo, 2011).

  • Montenegro
In Montenegro, A. illinoisensis was detected for the first time in September 2007 in vineyards near Podgorica. In 2008 and 2009, the aphid was found in many localities in the grapevine-growing regions of Montenegro (Petrović-Obradović et al., 2010).

  • Spain
In Spain, A. illinoisensis was detected for the first time in August 2011 on Vitis vinifera in a private garden in the city of Sevilla (Andalucía). Interestingly, this first finding was noticed because a photograph of an aphid colony had been posted on the Internet (Biodiversidad Virtual Portal – www.biodiversidadvirtual.org). Specimens were then collected from the same place and identified at the University of Barcelona. The aphid colonies observed in Sevilla were treated (water and detergent), and at present it is not known whether A. illinoisensis is established or not and whether it will become a damaging pest of grapevine (Pérez Hidalgo et al., 2011).


Havelka J, Schukshuk AH, Ghaliow M, Laamari M, Kavallieratos NG, Tomanović Ž, Rakhshani E, Pons X, Starý P (2011) Review of invasive grapevine aphid, Aphis illinoisensis Shimer and native parasitoids in the Mediterranean (Hemiptera, Aphididae; Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Aphidiinae). Archives of Biological Science, Belgrade 63(1), 269–274.
Mifsud D, Pérez Hidalgo N (2011) The grapevine aphid Aphis illinoisensis: a good example of recent invasion and rapid colonization by aphids. Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin 41(2), 183-184.
NPPO of Italy (2011-12).
Pérez Hidalgo N, Laguna Garcia F, Nieto Nafría JM (2011) First Spanish record of Aphis illinoisensis Schimer (Hemiptera: Aphididae), the grapevine aphid. Boletín de la Sociedad Entomólogica Aragonesa (S.E.A) n°49, 321-323.
Petrović-Obradović O, Tomanović Ž, Poljaković-Pajnik L, Hrnčić S, Vučetić A, Radonjić S (2010) New invasive species of aphids (Hemiptera, Aphididae) in Serbia and Montenegro. Archives of Biological Sciences, Belgrade 62(3), 775–780.