First report and eradication of Spodoptera littoralis in Germany
The NPPO of Germany recently informed the EPPO Secretariat of the first record of Spodoptera littoralis (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae – EPPO A2 List) on its territory. On 2014-05-23, S. littoralis was found in 700 sweet potato plants (Ipomoea batatas cv. ‘Bright ideas’) in a nursery in Hesse. The plants were heavily infested. The pest was identified morphologically by the German NPPO and this identification was confirmed by the Dutch NPPO. It is suspected that S. littoralis was introduced into the nursery with imports of plants from outside the EU. The young I. batatas plants had been imported and initially grown by another German nursery but S. littoralis has never been found in this nursery which is officially inspected every second week. The I. batatas plants originated in El Salvador, however S. littoralis is not known to occur either in El Salvador or in any other country in the Americas. It is noted that other plants imported from outside the EU were also grown in the nursery in Hesse. It is therefore suspected that S. littoralis might have been introduced with other imported plants from Africa. Phytosanitary measures have been taken to eradicate the pest. Infested plants have been treated several times with insecticides and quarantine has been imposed. A survey including neighbouring nurseries has been carried out.
The pest status of Spodoptera littoralis in Germany is officially declared as: Absent, eradicated.
NPPO of Germany (2014-10).