Parasaissetia nigra in Italy: an update
In the literature, there have been several records about the presence of Parasaissetia nigra (Hemiptera: Coccidae - formerly EU Annexes) in Italy, but some of these were considered controversial. In continental Italy, the last report was made by Pellizzari (2010) and stated that P. nigra was found in Sanremo (Sicilia) in 2006 and in Ventimiglia (Liguria region) in 2008. Further studies (Mazzeo et al., 2020) have confirmed the establishment of P. nigra in Sicilia and its association with a new host plant, Syzygium myrtifolium.
A survey on scale insects was conducted in 2016-2017 in the city of Catania (Sicilia) and P. nigra was detected on potted plants of Syzygium myrtifolium in a urban park. Other potential host plants (e.g. Aloe spp., Citrus spp.) growing in the vicinity of infested S. myrtifolium were found to be free of the pest. Infested S. myrifolium plants were covered with honeydew and sooty mould, and they were chlorotic and weakened. Parasitoids (Scutellista caerulea and Metaphycus spp.) were commonly observed on female P. nigra. So far, the Sicilian population of the scale seems to be restricted to S. myrtifolium, but considering the polyphagy of P. nigra, there is a risk of spread to other plants and areas of Sicilia.
Mazzeo G, Nucifora S, Longo S (2020) Definitive confirmation of establishment of Parasaissetia nigra (Nietner) (Hemiptera, Coccidae) in Sicily (Italy), with notes on its association with a new host, Syzygium myrtifolium Walp. EPPO Bulletin 50(2), 295–298.
Pellizzari G (2010) New data on the Italian scale insect fauna (Hemiptera, Coccoidea). Acta Phytopathologica et Entomologica Hungarica 45(1), 89–92.