First report of Hishimonus hamatus in Slovenia
The NPPO of Slovenia recently informed the EPPO Secretariat of the first record of Hishimonus hamatus (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) near Nova Gorica (Western part of Slovenia). In September 2012, the first specimens of H. hamatus were incidentally caught in a light trap. As light proved to be very attractive, in particular to males, light traps were placed in 3 different localities in the surroundings of Nova Gorica. At the same time, potential host plants were periodically surveyed, and additional specimens were collected with a sweep net in 2013. No direct damage caused by this leafhopper was observed. However, it is stressed that related species (e.g. H. phycitis and H. sellatus) are known vectors of phytoplasma diseases. In Slovenia, adults and nymphs of H. hamatus were collected mainly from Ligustrum lucidum but also from several other ornamental trees planted in public greens: L. japonicum, Lagerstroemia indica, Euonymus japonicus, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, Cupressus sempervirens and Thuja occidentalis. The presence of numerous nymphs (3rd, 4th and 5th instars) on all sampled trees (except T. occidentalis) showed that these tree species can be considered as host plants of H. hamatus. In Japan, the insect was recorded on E. japonicus, Sambucus javanica, Ilex crenata and Serissa japonica.
H. hamatus originates from Asia. It was independently described twice, first in 1976 by Kuoh on material collected from Southern China, and in 1978 by Okada in Japan under the name H. araii. This name was later recognized as a junior synonym of H. hamatus. This insect occurs in China, the Korean peninsula and Japan. This is the first time that H. hamatus is reported outside its native geographical range, however this does not necessarily mean that Slovenia is the primary introduction site in Europe. Interestingly, a discussion forum on the Internet suggests that this species has also been observed in Italy, but this has not been confirmed. In Slovenia, no phytosanitary measures were taken.
The pest status of Hishimonus hamatus in Slovenia is officially declared as: Transient, non-actionable.
NPPO of Slovenia (2014-01).
Seljak G (2013) Hishimonus hamatus Kuoh (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae): a new alien leafhopper in Europe. Acta Entomologica Slovenica 21(2), 123-130.
Forum Natura mediterraneo. http://www.naturamediterraneo.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=222916