First report of Eotetranychus lewisi in the United Kingdom
The NPPO of the United Kingdom recently informed the EPPO Secretariat of the first outbreak of Eotetranychus lewisi (Acari: Tetranychidae – EU Annexes) on its territory. A mite infestation in poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima cv. ‘Freedom Red’) was reported by a nurseryman in Northwestern England to the NPPO in August 2014. 50 plants (out of 128;520) were showing extensive and typical mite damage (i.e. foliar discolouration). Samples were taken during an official inspection and the identity of the pest was confirmed in September 2014 by Fera (morphological methods). It is thought that E. lewisi has been introduced into the nursery with cuttings imported via the Netherlands (EPPO note: E. lewisi is not known to occur in the Netherlands). As this nursery only grows poinsettias and is geographically isolated from other growers, the risk of natural spread is considered to be low. Hygiene measures and restrictions on the movement of plants have been implemented to reduce the risk of spreading the pest to other production sites. In addition, a programme of chemical treatments has been initiated.
The pest status of Eotetranychus lewisi in the United Kingdom is officially declared as: Transient, actionable, under eradication.
NPPO of the United Kingdom (2014-09).