EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 07 - 2001 Num. article: 2001/130

Additions to the EPPO Alert List: Neohydatothrips samayunkur and Aulacaspis yasumatsui

The NPPO of France suggested that the following two species could be usefully added to the EPPO Alert List: Neohydatothrips samayunkur and Aulacaspis yasumatsui. The thrips species N. samayunkur is a pest of marigold (Tagetes spp.) which has recently been introduced into the south of France, constituting a first record for Europe. The scale Aulacaspis yasumatsui is a pest of cycads which came to the attention of the French NPPO because of its recent introduction into Florida (US), and the damage it is currently causing there.

Neohydatothrips samayunkur (Thysanoptera: Thripidae)
Why: In September 2000, thrips were collected on an outdoor crop of marigold (Tagetes sp.) in the department of Alpes-Maritimes, in France. The pest was identified by the INRA of Antibes as Neohydatothrips samayunkur which is a new species for Europe and France.

North America: Mexico, USA (Florida and Hawaii).
Central and South America: Brazil (found for the first time in 1999), Costa Rica, El Salvador.
Asia: Japan, Sri Lanka
Oceania: Australia.
Africa: Kenya (pers. comm. between Mound and INRA, 2000-12).
EPPO region: recently found in the south of France. The origin of the populations observed in the south of France is not known for the moment.

On which plants: Tagetes genus only (Tagetes patula, T. erecta).

Damage: In France, the first symptoms were noticed 3 years ago on a crop of Tagetes patula in self-production (since 6-7 years, seeds had been collected and used from one year to another). Damage was observed at the end of summer. Infested plants showed discoloration, deformation and finally drying of the upper leaves. Flowers turn greenish yellow. Plant growth was reduced. In Brazil (Montero et al., 1999), it was observed that seedlings of Tagetes patula as well as the growth of plants were disturbed by this thrips species.

Pathway: The pest is likely to be moved through imports of Tagetes spp. plants for planting coming from infested countries. Specimens were intercepted in California on grasses in 1965 (Nakahara, 1999), and some other host plants (certainly fortuitous) are sometimes mentioned.

Possible risks: Tagetes species are widely used as bedding plants in the EPPO region and can also be grown for the production of essential oil. Thrips species are difficult to detect on consignments and their control is difficult in practice. Although the origin of the introduction into the south of France is not known, it shows that there are pathways for it, and also that the pest is able to survive there. More data is needed on the other ‘host plants’ which could carry it, as well on its biology to assess where it could establish in Europe. It seems that it could present a risk for the outdoor Tagetes crops in Southern Europe and Tagetes grown under protected conditions in the whole region.

EPPO RS 2001/130
Panel review date                Entry date 2001-08

Aulacaspis yasumatsui (Hemiptera: Diaspididae) – Cycad aulacaspis
Why: Aulacaspis yasumatsui came to our attention because of its recent introduction and spread in Florida (US). In Florida, it was first described in 1996, although it is suspected that it has been introduced in 1992 by an expedition funded by a botanical garden.

Asia: southeast Asia (recorded in Hong Kong (China), Thailand, but probably present in other countries).
North America: USA. Florida: first found in Miami in 1996, then spread to many other counties (as of 2000: Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Collier, Duval, Escambia, Flagler, Hendry, Lee, Leon, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Okaloosa, Orange, Palm Beach, Polk, Santa Rosa, Sarasota, Seminole, Suwanee). First found in 1998 in Hawaii (probably introduced from Florida).
Caribbean: Cayman Islands.

On which plants: Exclusively cycads in the following genera : Cycas (Cycadaceae –preferred genera among cycads), Dioon, Encephalartos, Microcycas (Zamiaceae) and Stangeria (Stangeriaceae).

Damage: Infestation usually start on the underside of the leaflets. Damage initially appears as chlorotic spots. As infestation increases, scales infest the upper surfaces of the leaflets, then petioles and trunks. Highly infested cycads are almost completely coated with a white crust. A particular feature is that A. yasumatsui can infest cycad roots. Males and females have been observed on roots of containerized and planted cycads (up to 60 cm deep in the soil). Without control by natural enemies, this species is highly damaging for cycads and often lethal. In addition to direct injury, scales are remarkably persistent, and dead scales disfigure the plants for a very long time.

Pathway: A. yasumatsui could be introduced through the import of cycad plants from infested countries. A. yasumatsui has a high potential to spread to new areas via plant movements because one or few fecund females hidden between leaf bases, fibrous stems or roots can easily escape detection. Spread over short distances is ensured by wind dispersal of crawlers. A. yasumatsui could also be dispersed by people, animals, birds, larger insects…

Possible risks: Cycads are valuable ornamentals plants in the EPPO region. A. yasumatsui presents a risk for cycads grown under glass for the whole region, and in gardens for countries of the Mediterranean basin where they are outdoor ornamental plants. In addition, it could threaten the survival of several rare and already endangered species conserved in botanical collections.

EPPO RS 2001/130
Panel review date                Entry date 2001-08


Neohydatothrips samayunkur
Monteiro R.M., Zawadneak M.A.C. & Mound L.A. 1999. Neohydatothrips samayunkur Kudo (Thysanoptera, Thripidae) infesting marigold (Tagetes patula, Compositae) in Brazil. Annais da Sociedade Entomologica do Brasil 28: 323-326.
Nakahara, S. 1999. Validation of Neohydatothrips samayunkur (Kudo) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) for a thrips damaging marigolds (Tagetes spp.). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 101(2): 458-459.

Aulacaspis yasumatsui
Broome, T. The Asian cycad scale. Palm & Cycad Societies of Florida, Inc. http://www.plantapalm.com/vce/horticulture/asiancycadscale.htm
Hamon, A. Cycad aulacaspis scale, Aulacaspis yasumatsui - http://doacs.state.fl.us/~pi/enpp/ento/aulacaspis.html
Heu, R.A.; Chun, M.E. Sago Palm Scale – New Pest Advisory no. 99-01 – State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture. http://www.hawaiiag.org/hdoa/npa.htm
Howard, F.W., Hamon, A., McLaughlin, M., Weissling, T., Yang, S-L. 1999. Aulacaspis yasumatsui (Hemiptera: sternorrhyncha: Diaspididae), a scale insect pest of cycads recently introduced into Florida. Florida Entomologist 82 (1): 14-27.
Takagi, S. 1977. A new species of Aulacaspis associated with cycad in Thailand (Homoptera: Coccoidea). Insecta Matsumurana New series 11: 63-72.
Weissling, T.J., Howard, F.W., Hamon, A. - Featured Creatures. Cycad Aulacaspis scale. http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/orn/palms/cycad_scale.htm