Update on the situation of Aleurocanthus spiniferus in Italy
In Italy, Aleurocanthus spiniferus (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae – EPPO A2 List) was first found in Puglia region (province of Lecce) in 2008 (EPPO RS 2008/092), in Campania and Lazio regions (RS 2017/157) in 2017, and in Basilicata and Emilia-Romagna regions in 2018 (RS 2019/133). In 2020-2021, the pest was also found in Toscana and Sicilia.
A. spiniferus was found in September 2020 in the municipality of Prato. Surveys were conducted in the surrounding area and showed that the infestation is currently limited to the urban area of Prato. The pest was found on ornamental plants (Citrus sp., Rosa sp., Hedera sp., Malus sp., Prunus laurocerasus, Pyracantha sp., Pyrus sp., Fortunella sp.). A demarcated area has been officially established, with a buffer zone of 1 km radius. Containment measures are applied as eradication is not considered feasible. The monitoring activity will continue in the demarcated area, with particular attention to the buffer zone, and nurseries.
A. spiniferus was detected in January 2021 in the province of Catania:
- in the municipality of Catania on five ornamental citrus trees (C. aurantium) in an urban area.
- in the municipality of Caltagirone and Grammichele in 7 ha of citrus orchards.
An awareness campaign has been initiated. In both cases a demarcated area has been officially established, with a buffer zone of 1 km radius. Phytosanitary measures applied include the pruning and burning of infested plants, the prohibition of movement of citrus fruits with peduncles/leaves outside the demarcated areas, and insecticide treatments in orchards.
The pest status of Aleurocanthus spiniferus in Italy is officially declared as: Present, only in some parts of the Member State concerned, under containment, in case eradication is impossible.
NPPO of Italy (2020-12, 2021-01, 2021-03).
- Sicilia: http://pti.regione.sicilia.it/portal/page/portal/ver-STAGE/PIR_PORTALE/PIR_LaStrutturaRegionale/PIR_AssessoratoregionaledelleRisorseAgricoleeAlimentari/PIR_DipAgricoltura/PIR_AreeTematiche/PIR_Servizi/PIR_ServizioFitosanitarioRegionale/PIR_Organisminocivi/PIR_Decretiregionali/PIR_Pubblicaallegati/drs%20n.%20850%20del%201-03-2021%20misure%20aleurocanthus.pdf