First record of an Erthesina species (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) resembling E. fullo in Albania
Since March 2017, an unusual stink bug species has been observed in Albania, in several localities close to the cities of Tirana and Durrës. In total, 16 observations of this Pentatomidae species have been shared on Internet platforms (iNaturalist and a Facebook group). For the moment, this insect has not been firmly identified, but according to the morphological characteristics observed on posted pictures, Lupoli et al. (2020) have considered that it was most probably Erthesina fullo (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae – yellow spotted stink bug). If confirmed, this would be the first time that E. fullo is reported in Albania and in Europe.
In its biology and behaviour, E. fullo presents many similarities with Halyomorpha halys. E. fullo is a highly polyphagous species which can feed on several economically important fruit crops, such as Actinidia chinensis (kiwifruit), Citrus spp., Malus domestica (apple), Prunus armeniaca (apricot), P. persica (peach), Punica granatum (pomegranate), as well as on many ornamental or forest tree species, such as Fraxinus, Populus, Robinia, Salix, Ulmus. E. fullo originates from Asia, where it is considered as a pest. E. fullo is known to be a hitchhiker pest, carried by passengers, luggage, containers, used machinery and vehicles. E. fullo adults aggregate and can overwinter in large numbers in human settlements. E. fullo is a ‘stink bug’ and emits an unpleasant smell when disturbed. Thus, E. fullo has also the potential to become a nuisance pest. In a recent review, Mi et al. (2020) considered that E. fullo is a potentially invasive species that could pose serious risks to many countries outside its native range.
EPPO note: In the framework of the EU project (DROPSA), E. fullo had been identified as posing a potential risk to Europe on fruit crops, in particular on citrus fruit. A geographical distribution and a preliminary list of host plants can be viewed on the EPPO Global Database: https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/ERTNFU
Lupoli R, van der Heyden T, Dioli P (2020) Erthesina Spinola, 1837 – a new alien genus for Europe found in Albania (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Heteroptera Poloniae – Acta Faunistica 14, 121–123.
Mi Q, Zhang J, Gould E, Chen J, Sun Z, Zhang F (2020) Biology, ecology, and management of Erthesina fullo (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae): A review. Insects 11, 346. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects11060346