Scientific Opinion on the pest categorisation of Aculops fuchsiae
The Panel on Plant Health of the European Food Safety Authority performed a pest categorisation of Aculops fuchsiae, a mite listed in Annex II, Part A, Section I of Council Directive 2000/29/EC as a harmful organism not known to occur in the community. A. fuchsiae is, however, established in France and the UK and it was also reported as transient in Belgium and Germany (but systematic surveys are lacking). A. fuchsiae is a distinct taxonomic entity. The known hosts of A. fuchsiae are Fuchsia spp. This exotic plant genus is naturalised in several areas of Europe and is widely present in the risk assessment area, both in the open field and under protected cultivations, as well as in gardens. The impact in terms of quality loss on fuchsia plants caused by the pest has been described in the European Union. However, no quantitative data on these losses have been reported yet. Plants for planting are the main pathway for introduction and spread of A. fuchsiae, which may cause severe impacts on the intended use of the plants for planting. In Europe, the climatic conditions do not seem to be the key limiting factor for establishment and spread in the open field and under protected conditions. Establishment and spread could occur provided that suitable hosts (Fuchsia spp.) are present. Further spread is anticipated from the areas where the pest is currently present, mainly by movement of plant material through trade and exchange.
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