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A review on Trioza erytreae (African citrus psyllid), now in mainland Europe, and its potential risk as vector of huanglongbing (HLB) in citrus

Abstract

The African citrus psyllid (AfCP), Trioza erytreae (Del Guercio) (Hemiptera, Triozidae), recently has been found in northwestern Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal). The insect is an important citrus pest because it transmits the phloem-limited bacteria Candidatus liberibacter spp., the causal agents of huanglongbing (HLB), the most devastating disease affecting citrus. The bacteria can be acquired by both AfCP nymphs and adults, but only adults can spread the pathogen. HLB has been detected neither in the Iberian Peninsula nor in Madeira and the Canary Islands, where the psyllid was recorded more than a decade ago. In the latter European islands, the eradication programmes of AfCP failed. Chemical-based control strategies are costly, could trigger increases of other pests and may have negative impact on the environment. The adoption of rigorous quarantine measures is extremely important for areas free of the psyllid. These measures likely represent the most effective prevention strategies for psyllid containment, because the geographic expansion of psyllids in citrus is mainly due to human activities, especially by the transport of plants and freshly harvested fruits from infested to uninfested areas. Many natural enemies may contribute to the reduction of its populations and consequent spread; hence, conservation biological control should be emphasised, especially in areas where the psyllid is not abundant. Classical biological control programmes should also be implemented in HLB-free areas by introducing effective AfCP parasitoids. In areas where HLB is detected, biological control is difficult to apply, and a rigorous chemical control program targeting the psyllid could complement this strategy. This report is an updated review of AfCP and strategies for its control in anticipation of its possible further spread in Europe and the Mediterranean Basin.

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Acknowledgments

Thanks are due to Mr Paul A. Brown (Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London, UK) for borrowing African material of Trioza erytreae used for morphological comparison. Thanks are also due to Gestión del Medio Rural de Canarias, S.A.U. (GMR Canarias) for sample collection and to Hristina Hristova Gueorguieva (ICIA) for her work with natural enemies of Trioza erytreae in her trainee’s degree. We thank to Alexis Hernández and José A. Guerra for their help in preparing the figures and to Agencia Estatal de Meteorología (AEMET) of the Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medio Ambiente of the Spanish Government that supply the layers of the Climate Atlas of the Archipielago of the Canary Islands (1971–2000). Finally, we thank Susan Halbert and anonymous reviewers for their precious suggestions that improved the quality of the paper.

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Correspondence to Giuseppe E. Massimino Cocuzza.

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Communicated by N. Desneux and M. Traugott.

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Cocuzza, G.E.M., Alberto, U., Hernández-Suárez, E. et al. A review on Trioza erytreae (African citrus psyllid), now in mainland Europe, and its potential risk as vector of huanglongbing (HLB) in citrus. J Pest Sci 90, 1–17 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10340-016-0804-1

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Keywords

  • African citrus psyllid
  • HLB
  • Greening disease
  • Geographical distribution
  • Biology
  • Damage to Citrus spp.
  • Integrated management