First reports of Corythauma ayyari in Sicilia (IT), Spain, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates
Corythauma ayyari (Hemiptera: Tingidae - jasmine lace bug) originates from Asia. This lace bug is reported as a pest of jasmine (Jasminum spp.) in Southern India, but other host plants are also recorded in the literature (e.g. Althaea officinalis, Clerodendrum inerme, Eranthemum pulchellum, Hedychium, Lantana, Musa, Ocimum, Trachelospermum). On Jasminum spp., feeding by nymphs and adults results in small chlorotic spots on the upper leaf surface. Attacked leaves may curl up, desiccate and fall prematurely. During the last decade, the presence of C. ayyari has been reported on jasmine (Jasminum spp.) from Israel (2004), France (2009) and Italy (2012) (see EPPO RS 2013/057). More recently, C. ayyari has been observed in Sicilia (IT), Spain, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates.
- Sicilia (Italy)
At the beginning of summer 2004, C. ayyari was found on several plants of J. grandiflorum cultivated in gardens and on balconies of the Southwestern part of the city of Palermo, Sicilia. In this area, at the end of the summer several plants were infested with hundreds of specimens and suffered rather severe damage (Carapezza, 2014).
At the end of 2014, several specimens of C. ayyari were collected on J. grandiflorum in Puigmoltó (Sant Pere de Ribes), 45 km southwest of Barcelona (Cataluña). On 2014-09-27 and on 2014-12-06, 4 specimens (2 males and 2 females) and 24 specimens (11 males and 13 females) were found, respectively. These specimens were collected in a small private garden (10 m²) in a periurban residential area, close to natural woods and uncultivated land. It is noted that the circumstances of this finding are similar to those in Italy (a single plant of J. sambac on a balcony) or France (small green area in a highway resting area) (Roca-Cusachs ; Goula, 2014).
In Tunisia, the first signs of the presence of C. ayyari were noticed on a plant of J. grandiflorum in October 2013 in the locality of M’saken. This plant showed desiccation of the foliage and low flower production. In 2014, the same plant was inspected and the first signs of infestation were seen in August 2014. By November 2014, a large part of the plant was brown and desiccated with a significant decrease in flower production. Following this first detection, the presence of C. ayyari was also observed during 2014 at 3 other locations (Ariana, Akouda and Kantaoui) on J. grandiflorum and J. sambac. In these other locations, no major impacts on flower production were noticed. However, considering the particular importance of jasmine in the Tunisian culture, it is considered that this invasive insect could potentially be a threat to the production of J. grandiflorum and J. sambac in Tunisia (Haouas et al., 2015).
- United Arab Emirates
According to Carapezza (2014), C. ayyari has recently been introduced into the United Arab Emirates but no further details could be found.
Carapezza A (2014) Corythauma ayyari (Drake, 1933) new pest of jasmine in Italy (Heteroptera Tingidae). Naturalista siciliano Serie IV 38(2), 381-384.
Haouas D, Guilbert E, Ben Halima-Kamel M (2015) First report of Corythauma ayyari (Drake) (Hemiptera: Tingidae) on Arabian and Spanish jasmine in Tunisia. Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin 45(1), 4 pp (early view DOI: 10.1111/epp.12187)
Roca-Cusachs, Goula M (2014) First record of the invasive tingid species Corythauma ayyari (Drake, 1933) in the Iberian Peninsula (Insecta: Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Tingidae). Butlletí de la Institució Catalana d’Història Natural 78, 119-123.