Paraleyrodes minei continues to spread in Italy
Paraleyrodes minei (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae – nesting whitefly) is a polyphagous whitefly probably originating from Central America but which occurs in several Mediterranean countries (see EPPO Global Database https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/PARYMI/distribution). At the end of 2010, it was reported for the first time in Italy on citrus, in Campania region (see EPPO RS 2011/152). A few specimens were collected on a limited number of ornamental sour orange (Citrus aurantium) trees in a park in Portici, near Napoli. After this first detection, no other findings were reported. In mid-June 2014, the presence of P. minei was noted for the first time in citrus groves in Sicilia. Inspections were then carried out in most of the citrus-growing areas of Eastern Sicilia, as well as on ornamental citrus in gardens or along roads. Results showed that the pest occurred in a wide area along the coasts of Messina, Catania and Syracuse districts. P. minei was detected on lemon (C. limon), orange (C. sinensis) and sour orange (C. aurantium). Almost all findings of P. minei in Sicilia were in mixed populations with other whitefly species, mainly Aleurothrixus floccosus and to a lesser extent Dialeurodes citri. It is noted that considering its rapid spread in Sicilia and its presence in commercial orchards, P. minei might present a serious threat for the citrus industry and consequently requires a careful monitoring. For the moment, no damage was specifically reported. Studies have been initiated in Sicilia to identify natural enemies of P. minei which could be used to reduce its populations.
Longo S, Rapisarda C (2014) Spread of Paraleyrodes minei Iaccarino (nesting whitefly in Italian citrus groves. Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin 44(3), 529-533.