Pest categorisation of Spodoptera litura
The EFSA Panel on Plant Health (PLHP) performed a pest categorisation of Spodoptera litura (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) for the EU. S. litura is widely distributed across South and East Asia and Oceania. It is established in tropical and subtropical regions where there are no, or few, frost days each year. It can extend its range into cooler temperate regions during summer months. S. litura is highly polyphagous feeding on hosts within at least 40 botanical families, including economically important crops within Brassicaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Fabaceae, Malvaceae, Poaceae and Solanaceae. Larvae are primarily leaf feeders and can cause complete defoliation. At high population densities almost all plant parts are eaten. S. litura is a serious pest in the Asia‐Pacific region where it causes losses to many economically important cultivated field crops and crops such as eggplants, sweet peppers and tomatoes in protected cultivation. As a species that appears limited by winter temperatures, only a small area of the EU provides climatic conditions where establishment outdoors may be possible although cultivated and wild hosts are distributed across the EU. S. litura has been intercepted in the EU many times on ornamentals and leafy vegetables. Outbreaks have occurred in EU glasshouses and have been eradicated. Phytosanitary measures are available to inhibit entry. S. litura satisfies the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for it to be regarded as a potential Union quarantine pest. S. litura does not meet the criteria of occurring in the EU, and plants for planting being the principal means of spread for it to be regarded as a potential Union regulated non‐quarantine pest.
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