Pest categorisation of Aleurocanthus spp.
The Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Aleurocanthus spp., a well‐defined insect genus of the whitefly family Aleyrodidae (Arthropoda: Hemiptera). Difficulties within the taxonomy of the genus give doubt about the ability to accurately identify some members to species level. Nevertheless, the genus is thought to currently include about ninety species mainly reported from tropical and subtropical areas. The genus is listed in Council Directive 2000/29/EC and is regulated on Citrus, Fortunella and Poncirus.
Several Aleurocanthus species are highly polyphagous; Aleurocanthus spiniferus has hosts in 38 plant families; Aleurocanthus woglumi has more than 300 hosts including Pyrus, Rosa and Vitis vinifera as well as Citrus. A. spiniferus is present in the EU in restricted areas of Italy and Greece, where it is under official control. No other Aleurocanthus spp. are known to occur in the EU.
Host plants for planting, excluding seeds, and cut flowers or branches are the main pathways for entry. Outside of the EU, the genus can be found in regions that have climate types which also occur within the EU, suggesting establishment is possible. Aleurocanthus spp. can be significant pests of crops that are also grown in the EU.
Phytosanitary measures are available to reduce the likelihood of entry into the EU, e.g. sourcing host plants for planting from pest free areas.
As a genus Aleurocanthus does satisfy all the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess and required by risk managers to give it consideration as a Union quarantine pest. Aleurocanthus does not meet all of the criteria to allow it consideration by risk managers as a Union regulated non‐quarantine pest (RNQP). Specifically, Aleurocanthus is not widespread in the EU.
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