Pest categorisation of Haplaxius crudus
The EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of the planthopper Haplaxius crudus (Hemiptera: Cixiidae) for the EU. This species occurs from south‐eastern USA to Northern Brazil and on many Caribbean islands. Adults oviposit on grasses, mostly Poaceae and Cyperaceae in the vicinity of palms (Arecaceae). The pest can also be found on plants of the families Arecaceae, Heliconiaceae, Pandanaceae and Verbenaceae. Preimaginal development takes place on the roots of grasses, where nymphs feed. Upon emergence, adults move to palms for feeding and return to grasses for oviposition. H. crudus is regulated in Annex IIA of Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/2072 as Myndus crudus, a junior synonym. This species is a competent vector of Candidatus Phytoplasma palmae, the causal agent of coconut lethal yellowing, a disease also regulated in Annex IIA of the same regulation. Within this regulation, potential entry pathways for H. crudus, such as Arecaceae and Poaceae plants for planting with foliage and soil/growing medium, and soil/growing media by themselves can be considered as closed. However, plants for planting of the families Cyperaceae, Heliconiaceae, Pandanaceae and Verbenaceae are not specifically regulated. Should H. crudus arrive in the EU , climatic conditions and availability of susceptible hosts in a small area in southern EU (e.g. eastern Cyprus and south‐western Spain) may provide conditions for limited establishment, and further spread to neighbouring areas in the Mediterranean basin during summer months. Economic impact is anticipated only if Candidatus Phytoplasma palmae is also introduced into the EU. Phytosanitary measures are available to reduce the likelihood of entry. H. crudus satisfies the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for this species to be regarded as a potential Union quarantine pest. This species does not meet the criteria of being present in the EU and plants for planting being the main pathway for spread for it to be regarded as a potential non‐quarantine pest.
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