EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 03 - 1998 Num. article: 1998/51

Situation of Phyllocnistis citrella in the European, Mediterranean and Near East regions

Phyllocnistis citrella was first described in South East Asia (in 1856) and then dispersed slowly to Japan (1927), Korea, Philippines (1915), Australia (1918), East Africa (1967), West Africa (1970). Since 1993, it spread extremely rapidly to many different regions of the world (Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Mediterranean region, Near East, USA (Florida), and lately to South America). In the European, Mediterranean and Near East regions, the situation can be summarized as follows:

Cyprus: first reported in October 1994, it soon became widespread in citrus-growing areas.

Egypt: first recorded in July 1994 on the eastern site of Nile delta. It is now widespread, all citrus cultivars are attacked in nurseries and orchards.

France: first observed in Corsica in autumn 1994 on the south-east coast. In summer 1995, damage was observed on all citrus-growing areas of the island. At the same time, the pest spread in mainland France (Côte d’Azur, Provence, Pyrénées Orientales).

Greece: first found in Greece in June 1995 on the island of Rhodos. Further records were made in the following months on the islands of the East Aegean Sea and on the east of Kriti. In mainland Greece, it was recorded in Marathon (Attica) and Scala (Laconia) in August 1995. In September 1995, it was present in all citrus-growing areas of the country.

Israel: first found in June 1994 on the north-eastern coast of the Galilee Sea. By October 1994, it was present in all citrus-growing areas in Israel.

Iran: first reports date back to 1961 in southern Iran. But it was first found in northern Iran in 1994 and since then a dramatic spread was observed.

Iraq: first seen in a nursery at Al-Iskenderiya in May 1992. By 1993, it was widespread in all citrus-growing areas of the country.

Lebanon: first found in July 1994 causing damage in northern Lebanon (although it had been observed 25 years ago and disappeared), since then it is present in all citrus-producing areas.

Libya: first found in 1995 and within the same year it spread to all citrus orchards situated in the coastal areas.

Malta: first observed in June/July 1995 and within a few weeks it was present in all citrus-growing areas of Malta and Gozo, on all citrus cultivars.

Morocco: first found in 1994 in the region of l’Oriental and north of Larache. It then spread towards the south and coastal areas (Gharb, Tadla, Marrakech and finally Souss). By the end of 1995, it was present in all citrus-growing areas.

Oman*: it was known in Oman since 1972 but became an economic pest in 1994. It is present in all citrus orchards and back yard gardens.

Pakistan: the earliest report was made in 1916. It is considered as a serious pest of citrus in hilly areas and is widely distributed in the country.

Saudi Arabia: first found on citrus in the eastern province of 1960. In 1982, it was declared as an economic pest causing damage to nurseries and orchards throughout the country.

Spain: first found in 1994 near Cadiz and Malaga, it then rapidly spread to Andalucía, Baleares, Cataluña, Murcia and Communidad Valenciana.

Sudan: it is considered as an economic pest since the early 1960s, and is widely distributed in citrus-growing areas.

Syria: first noticed in July 1994, it is now found in all citrus-growing areas.

Tunisia: it appeared suddenly in November 1994 at Tabarka and rapidly spread to the citrus-growing areas in the north-east. In June 1995, it was also found in Djerba.

Turkey: it was first noticed in 1994 in the East Mediterranean region of Turkey (Içel, Adana, Hatay) and then in the same year, it spread along the West Mediterranean region. In 1995, it was also observed in the Aegean region. It is now present in all citrus orchards excepted those situated on the Black Sea coast.

It can be recalled that, in the Euro-Mediterranean region, P. citrella is also present in Algeria, Italy (first found in Sardegna in autumn 1994, it then spread to the mainland and Sicilia), and Portugal. In the Near East, it is also present in Yemen.

* New record.


Séminaire du C.L.A.M. sur ‘la mineuse des feuilles des agrumes (Citrus leafminer - Phyllocnistis citrella). Moncada (ES), 1996-03-11/13.73 pp.

Draft Report of the FAO Workshop on Citrus Leaf Miner and its Control in the Near East, Safita (Tartous) (SY), 1996-09-30/10-03, 35 pp.