Pest categorisation of Didesmococcus unifasciatus
The EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Didesmococcus unifasciatus (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Coccidae) for the EU following commodity risk assessments of Malus domestica (apple), Prunus dulcis (almond) and P. persica (peach) plants for planting from Türkiye in which D. unifasciatus was identified as a pest that could potentially enter the EU. It was first described in Uzbekistan and is widely distributed in Central and Western Asia, including Türkiye (where it was recently reported as limited to the Hakkari and Diyarbakir regions in the Asian part of the country). It has not been reported within the EU. It is not listed in Annex II of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072. It completes one generation per year; a female lays between 1,500 and 2,400 eggs. It feeds on several important fruit trees of the family Rosaceae (e.g. P. dulcis, M. domestica), as well as Ficus carica and Ulmus sp. Most of its hosts are widely cultivated in the EU. Woody plants for planting and cut branches are the main potential pathways for entry of D. unifasciatus into the EU. Climatic conditions and availability of host plants would likely allow this species to establish and spread in southern parts of the EU. Just as in other invaded areas, the presence of many of its natural enemies in the EU is likely to prevent the scale from becoming an economic or environmental pest. Nevertheless, phytosanitary measures are available to reduce the likelihood of entry and spread. Considering the weight of evidence, D. unifasciatus does not meet all the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for this species to be regarded as a potential Union quarantine pest.
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- Czech Republic