EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 01 - 1994 Num. article: 1994/03

Introduced insects of the Mediterranean area with a potential for spread

Professor E. Tremblay, of the Dipartimento di Entomologia e Zoologia Agraria, Universit… di Napoli (Portici), Italy, has in several articles reviewed the insects which have been introduced into the Mediterranean area in the last few decades and which present a continued risk of further spread, outdoors or under glass (Tremblay, 1988, 1991). Many of these already feature in the EPPO quarantine lists, or else in the Annexes of Directive 77/93 of the European Union. Others used to appear in these regulations. Others have previously been mentioned in the EPPO Reporting Service. We summarize here a list of other exotic species, from various parts of the world, which have gained a foothold in the Mediterranean and could spread further. Not all are of the same importance, but all present some interest as introduced pests. Additional details have been found by consulting CABPESTCD.

Pests introduced from America

Allococcus inamabilis (Hambleton) (Homoptera: Coccidae)(= Planococcus vovae), from South America, introduced into Italy and Spain (Islas Canarias), on cypress.

Dasineura gleditchiae (Osten Sacken) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), from North America, introduced into Italy, Switzerland and UK, on Gleditsia.

Epitrix hirtipennis (Melsheimer) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), tobacco flea beetle, a North American species first reported for Europe in tobacco fields northeast of Napoli in 1984, progressing in central and southern Italy. See Sannino ; Balbiani (1990) Informatore agrario 46, suppl. 13, 17-20. This introduction is causing continuing problems.

Glischrochilus quadrisignatus (Say) (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), picnic beetle, a pest of small fruits and vegetables, from USA, introduced into Italy (1990) and Moldavia. There is some doubt about its potential for establishment.

Graphocephala fennahi (Young) (Homoptera: Cicadellidae), from North America, introduced into Northern Europe (France, Germany, UK) many years ago, on rhododendron. It vectors the pathogen Pycnostysanus azaleae. Recently introduced into Italy.

Hypogeococcus festerianus (Lizer ; Trelles) (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae), from South America, introduced into Italy (Liguria), on cactus. This is one of a group of cactus mealybugs fairly recently introduced into Europe (see other examples below).

Nearctaphis bakeri (Cowen) (Homoptera: Aphididae), from North America, introduced into Italy, on clover.

Ovaticoccus agavium Douglas (Homoptera: Eriococcidae), from USA, introduced into Italy, on Agave.

Peliococcus serratus (Ferris) (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae), from Canada and USA, introduced into Italy, on beech.

Pseudococcus affinis (Maskell) (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae) (= P. obscurus), from North America and Chile, introduced into Italy and Spain (Islas Canarias), on many hosts.

Rhizoecus cacticans (Hambleton) (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae), from USA, introduced into Denmark, Hungary, Italy (Sicilia), on cactus.

Spilococcus cactearum (McK.) (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae), from USA, introduced into Denmark, Italy, on cactus.

Pests introduced from Asia and Eastern Europe

Acaudaleyrodes citri (Pr.H.) (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae), a whitefly recorded in Cyprus and Israel, on citrus.

Brachycorynella asparagi Mordvilko (Homoptera: Aphididae), asparagus aphid, spreading into Italy from the east. See Coceano, P.G. (1989) Un nuovo pericolo per l'asparagicoltura italiana. Informatore Agrario no. 24, 73-74. This pest has also appeared in the late 1980s and caused problems in France, Germany and Spain. It was introduced into USA in the 1980s and has spread extensively.

Ceroplastes japonicus Green (Homoptera: Coccidae), tortoise wax scale, recently introduced into Italy, also in Russia (where it is rated a quarantine pest), from SE Asia.

Chilo suppressalis (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), on rice, a SE Asian pest only present in the Mediterranean basin in the Iberian peninsula and in France.

Coccura comari (Kunow) (Homoptera: Coccidae), in Hungary and Poland, introduced into Italy, on Rubus.

Coccus pseudomagnoliarum Kuw. (Homoptera: Coccidae), a Japanese citrus pest known only in the eastern Mediterranean.

Myiopardalis pardalina (Bigot) (Diptera: Tephritidae), Baluchistan melon fly, a Middle Eastern pest of cucurbits known only in the eastern Mediterranean.

Ophiomyia phaseoli (Coq.) (Diptera: Agromyzidae), a legume pest of the Old World tropics, known only from the eastern Mediterranean.

Phyllocnistis citrella Stainton (Lepidoptera: Phyllocnistidae), citrus leaf miner, approaching the Mediterranean from the Middle East.

Pterochloroides persicae (Kholodk.) (Homoptera: Aphididae), clouded peach stem aphid or giant brown bark aphid, from Asia (e.g. Lebanon, Russia, Turkmenistan), introduced into Italy in the 1970s, also in Egypt, Romania (recent introduction), Tunisia (since 1984), Yugoslavia, on peach and other Prunus. The introduction of this pest, which is of significant economic importance, seems to have passed unnoticed in plant quarantine circles.

Rhodococcus bulgariensis (Wunn) (Homoptera: Coccidae), spherical rose scale, from Bulgaria, Hungary, introduced into Italy in the 1970s, on rose.

Pests introduced from Oceania

Acizzia acaciaebaileyanae Fr. (Homoptera: Psyllidae), an Australian pest of acacia introduced into Italy in the 1980s.

Acizzia uncatoides Fer. & Kl. (Homoptera: Psyllidae), an Australian and New Zealand pest of acacia, introduced into France, Italy, Israel, Spain (Islas Canarias) and UK in the 1980s.

Ctenarytaina eucalypti (Maskell) (Hemiptera: Psyllidae), from Australia, on eucalyptus. See also Cadahia, D. (1986) Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin 16, 265-283.

Quadristochella eucalypti (Timberlake) (Hymenoptera, Eulophidae), a seed-destroying pest of eucalyptus, recorded for the first time in Europe in southern Greece. Georgevits, R.P. (1981) Dasikon Ereunon 2 (4), 5-14.

Pests introduced from Africa

Inglisia lounsburyi (Homoptera: Coccidae), a South African pelargonium pest found near Napoli (IT). No further consequences.

Mycetaspis personata Comstock (Homoptera: Diaspididae), masked scale, an Egyptian pest of many hosts which threatens glasshouse crops in Europe.

Rastrococcus invadens Williams (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae), a SE Asian species expanding in West Africa and threatening Europe. See example Moussa, J.B. & Matile-Ferrero, D. (1988) Sur la pr‚sence du nouveau ravageur Rastrococcus invadens en R‚publique populaire du Congo. Bulletin de la Soci‚t‚ entomologique de France 93 (2), and many other recent references on its importance in Africa. Note that this pest has not yet appeared in the Mediterranean area.

Pantropical pests introduced into the Mediterranean area

Contarinia sorghicola (Coquillett) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), sorghum midge, pantropical on sorghum, and so far only recorded in the Mediterranean basin in France and Italy.

Dysmicoccus brevipes (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae), pineapple mealybug, in Israel, Italy and Spain (Islas Canarias), threatens ornamental Bromeliaceae in glasshouses in Europe.

Ferrisia virgata (Cockerell) (Homoptera: Pseudococcidae), striped mealybug, a potential pest of glasshouse ornamentals present in the Mediterranean zone only in Egypt.

Pentalonia nigronervosa Coquerel (Homoptera: Aphididae), banana aphid, on ornamental Musaceae in large glasshouses in Europe (e.g. in Denmark, Germany).


Tremblay, E. (1988) Avversit… delle colture di recente o temuta introduzione. Parassiti animali: insetti. L'Italia Agricola, no. 1, 115-128.

Tremblay, E. (1991) New entomological problems in the Mediterranean basin and possibilities of their confrontation. Proceedings of the 3rd National Entomological Congress, pp. 65-72. Thessaloniki, Greece.