First report of Epitrix hirtipennis in France
During summer 2016, unusual flea beetles were collected on glasshouse aubergines (Solanum melongena) in Arles, and later in spring 2017 in Saint-Martin-de Crau (both in Bouches-du-Rhone). These specimens were identified as Epitrix hirtipennis (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae). Later surveys also found E. hirtipennis on S. melongena in Bigluglia (Haute-Corse).
E. hirtipennis originates from North America but has been introduced into the EPPO region in the 1980s. It was first found in Italy (1983), and then in other countries: Azores (PT, 1984), Albania (1986), Greece (1988), Turkey (1993), former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1996), Baleares (1998), Bulgaria (2000), Syria (2002), Russia (2013), and mainland Spain (2015). Its geographical distribution can be viewed in the EPPO Global Database.
E. hirtipennis (tobacco flea beetle) is an oliphagous pest feeding on Solanaceae; adults and larvae feed on leaves and roots (or tubers), respectively. In its area of origin, E. hirtipennis is mainly considered as a pest of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum), but it can be associated with other wild and cultivated Solanaceae, such as: Chamaesaracha conoides, Datura stramonium, D. wrightti, Nicotiana attenuata, Physalis acutifolia, P. philadelphica (=P. ixocarpa), S. elaeagnifolium, S. lycopersicum (tomato), S. melongena (aubergine), and S. tuberosum (potato).
Mouttet R, Ginez A, Germain JF, Streito JC (2017) Présence en France d'Epitrix hirtipennis (Melsheimer, 1847) (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Alticinae). Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France 122(4), 451-454.