EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 09 - 2020 Num. article: 2020/184

New data on quarantine pests and pests of the EPPO Alert List

By searching through the literature, the EPPO Secretariat has extracted the following new data concerning quarantine pests and pests included (or formerly included) on the EPPO Alert List, and indicated in bold the situation of the pest concerned using the terms of ISPM no. 8.

  • New records

In Canada, Aproceros leucopoda (Hymenoptera: Argidae – formerly EPPO Alert List) was first found in August 2020 on elm trees (Ulmus spp.) in a rural property located in Ste Martine, Québec. It is the first time that detection of this pest has been reported in North America (NAPPO, 2020). Present, few occurrences.

Dothistroma septosporum (EU RNQP) occurs in Belarus. It was first found in 2012 on young trees of Pinus strobus in the Verhnedvinsk arboretum (Vitebsk region). In 2013, symptoms of the disease were observed on P. sylvestris near Minsk. In 2013, the presence of the fungus was confirmed by molecular methods on P. sylvestris in Vitebsk region, and subsequently on P. mugo in botanical gardens in Vitebsk and Minsk (Markovskaja et al., 2020). Present, only in some areas.

In Italy, Singhiella simplex (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae – formerly EPPO Alert List) was first found in summer 2019, on Ficus benjamina trees planted in a public garden in the historical centre of the city of Reggio Calabria (Calabria region). The pest was then found in most of the urban green areas of the city. Infested trees were markedly defoliated and presented branch dieback (Laudani et al., 2020). Present, only in some areas.

The oak processionary moth Thaumetopoea processionea (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae – EU Annexes) was first found in Ireland in June 2020 on one tree in a park in South Dublin. All caterpillars have been removed from the tree. Further surveys are ongoing. Ireland has a Protected Zone status for Thaumetopoea processionea (NPPO of Ireland, 2020). Under eradication.

Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae – EPPO A2 List) was first found in Togo in 2018. The pest was trapped during a survey conducted from November 2018 to February 2019 in 15 tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) farms located in the different regions of Togo. Damage on tomato leaves and fruit was observed in all studied sites with a lower incidence in the Northern regions (Fiaboe et al., 2020). Present, widespread.

  • Detailed records

In Brazil, surveys on huanglongbing were carried out from 2011 to 2014 in the state of Bahia to verify the absence of the disease. However, ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (EPPO A1 List) was detected by PCR in 3 samples of the insect vector (Diaphorina citri – Hemiptera: Liviidae – EPPO A1 List) collected, on Murraya paniculata in the city of Seabra, in the region of Chapada Diamantina (Abreu et al., 2020).

In Paraguay, Anastrepha obliqua (Diptera: Tephritidae, EPPO A1 List) is reported as present in the departments of Boquerón, Central, Cordillera, Concepción, Ñeembucú (Silva et al., 2020).


  • Eradication

The NPPO of Switzerland informed the EPPO Secretariat that Synchytrium endobioticum (EPPO A2 List) has not been detected over the last 25 years. The pathogen is therefore considered to be absent from Switzerland (pest eradicated, under official surveillance). 

The pest status of Synchytrium endobioticum in Switzerland is officially declared as: Absent, pest eradicated.

  • Absence

In 2011, a serious disease was observed in nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) plantations in Kerala, India, causing leaf and nut fall. At that time, the disease was reported to be caused by Phytophthora ramorum (EPPO A2 List) (Mathew and Beena, 2012). Further investigations using morphological, molecular, and biological methods have shown that other Phytophthora species were involved in this disease, but not P. ramorum. It was found that isolates from nutmeg were hybrid species: P. citrophthora x P. meadii and P. citrophthora x P. tropicalis for which the names P. citromeadii and P. citrocaptalis have been proposed, respectively (Anandaraj et al., 2020).

  • Host plants

Listronotus bonariensis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae – EPPO A1 List) is primarily a pest of grasses (Poaceae), but adults can feed on some Brassicaceae and Fabaceae. In October 2016, an infestation of pea (Pisum sativum - Fabaceae) seedlings was observed in a farm in New Zealand. Symptoms included wilting and yellowing of new growth. Visual inspection of infested plants found entry and exit points, mining of the stem and a single larva per seedling. Peas had been sown in a field previously grown with Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum). The authors consider that this is a new host plant record of L. bonariensis (McNeill et al., 2020).

Citrus leaf blotch virus (Citrivirus, CLBV, EU Annexes) was detected on symptomatic Kaido crab apple (Malus micromalus) in China (Li et al., 2020). This is the first report of CLBV infecting plant species in the Malus genus. 

  • New pests

In Italy, a new blunervirus has been isolated from symptomatic tomato plants grown in an open field in autumn 2018. Affected plants exhibited fruit dimpling and uneven ripening. The complete genome sequence of this new virus has been sequenced, and it is proposed to name it tomato fruit blotch virus (ToFBV). A distinct isolate of the same virus was also detected in Australia (Ciuffo et al., 2020).

In Portugal, a new pathogen species, Pestalotiopsis pini, has been isolated from symptomatic stone pines (Pinus pinea) in pine plantations and urban areas. It causes shoot blight and stem necrosis. Four other species of Pestalotiopsis were identified in association with symptomatic stone pines, namely, Pe. australis, Pe. biciliata, Pe. disseminata and Pe. hollandica (Silva et al., 2020).


Abreu EFM, Lopes AC, Fernandes AM, Silva SWB, Barbosa CJ, Nascimento AS, Laranjeira FF, Andrade EC (2020) First report of HLB causal agent in psyllid in State of Bahia, Brazil. Neotropical Entomology (abst.). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13744-020-00783-w

Anandaraj M, Mathew SK, Eapen SJ, Cissin J, Rosana B, Bhai RS (2020) Morphological and molecular intervention in identifying Phytophthora spp. causing leaf and nut fall in nutmeg (Myristica fragrans Houtt.). European Journal of Plant Pathology 156, 373-386.

Ciuffo M, Kinoti WM, Tiberini A, Forgia M, Tomassoli L, Constable FE, Turina M (2020) A new blunervirus infects tomato crops in Italy and Australia. Archives of Virology 165, 2379-2384 (via PestLens).

Fiaboe KR, Agboka K, Agboyi LK, Koffi D, Ofoe R, Kpadonou GE, Agnamba AO, Assogba K, Adjevi MKA, Zanou KT, Fening OK (2020) First report and distribution of the South American tomato pinworm, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) in Togo. Phytoparasitica. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12600-020-00841-4

Laudani F, Giunti G, Zimbalatti G, Campolo O, Palmeri V (2020) Singhiella simplex (Singh) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), a new aleyrodid species for Italy causing damage on Ficus. EPPO Bulletin 50(1), 268-270.

Li H, Zhao Q, Gray S, Xu Y (2020) Viral small RNA-based screening of Malus spp. reveals citrus leaf blotch virus infection of Kaido crab apple in China. Plant Disease (in press). https://doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-03-20-0506-PDN

Markovskaja S, Raitelaitytė K, Kačergius A, Kolmakov P, Vasilevich V (2020) Occurrence of Dothistroma needle blight in Lithuania and Belarus: The risk posed to native Scots Pine forests. Forest Pathology, e12626. https://doi.org/10.1111/efp.12626

Mathew SK & Beena S (2012) A new record of Phytophthora ramorum causing leaf fall and shoot rot of nutmeg (Myristica fragrans). Journal of Mycology and Plant Pathology 42(4), 529-530.

McNeill MR, Scott RE, Richards NK (2020) A novel association between the grass pest Argentine stem weevil (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) and peas. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science 48(3), 183-189 (abst.).

NAPPO Phytosanitary Alert System. Official Pest Reports. Canada (2020-09-11) Aproceros leucopoda - elm zigzag sawfly detected in Québec. https://www.pestalerts.org/official-pest-report/aproceros-leucopoda-elm-zigzag-sawfly-detected-qu-bec-aproceros-leucopoda

NPPO of Ireland (2020-07) Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) found in Ireland for the first time June 2020. In Horticulture Link 1, p 2. https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/media/migration/farmingsectors/planthealthandtrade/horticulturelinknewsletter/2020/HorticultureLinkJuly2020300720.pdf

NPPO of Switzerland (2020-09).

Rodriguez PAC, Miret LM, Norrbom AL, Garay LC, Coronel BE, Peñaranda EA (2020) New records of Anastrepha (Diptera: Tephritidae) from Paraguay. Zootaxa, 4809(1), 141–155. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4809.1.8

Silva AC, Diogo E, Henriques J, Ramos AP, Sandoval-Denis M, Crous PW, Bragança H (2020) Pestalotiopsis pini sp. nov., an emerging pathogen on stone pine (Pinus pinea L.). Forests 11, 805. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11080805