First record of Aleurocanthus spiniferus in Italy
The EPPO Secretariat was recently informed by Prof. Porcelli (University of Bari, IT) that Aleurocanthus spiniferus (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae – EPPO A1 List) has been found for the first time in Italy and in Europe. In April 2008, a small branch of orange tree infested by an unusual whitefly was submitted for identification. The pest was identified as A. spiniferus and this was confirmed by other laboratories (NHM in London and Dutch Plant Protection Service in Wageningen). Because of the importance of this pest for citrus orchards, a survey of the infested site was immediately carried out to obtain more information on the extent of the infestation. It showed that the pest was already widespread in the area of Supersano, province of Lecce (Apulia region). Discussion with local citrus growers indicated that the pest had been noted two years before but misidentified as a scale insect. The origin of the infestation is still unknown and it is considered that A. spiniferus is already too widespread to be eradicated.
The situation of Aleurocanthus spiniferus in Italy can be described as follows: Present, first identified in 2008 in the province of Lecce, Apulia region.
Porcelli F (2008) First record of Aleurocanthus spiniferus (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) in Apulia, Southern Italy. http://www.eppo.org/QUARANTINE/aleurocanthus_spiniferus_IT/first_record.htm