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Pest categorisation of Pseudococcus cryptus


The EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Pseudococcus cryptus Hempel (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), the citriculus mealybug, for the EU. 

P. cryptus originates from Southeast Asia but is now established in East Africa, the Middle East and South America. The pest is not currently known to occur in the EU (there was a record once, in 2006, in a zoo/botanical garden from southern Spain). P. cryptus is not listed in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072. 

It is polyphagous, feeding on plants in more than 90 genera in 51 families, and exhibits a preference for citrus (Citrus spp.) and palms (especially Cocos nucifera, Elaeis guineensis and Areca catechu). It is an important pest of citrus in Japan and parts of the Middle East, although in Israel, it is controlled by natural enemies. It is sexually reproductive, has six overlapping generations each year in Israel, and each female lays up to approximately 150 eggs, depending on temperature and host species. The main natural dispersal stage is the first instar, which crawls over the host plant or may be dispersed further by wind and animals. 

Plants for planting, fruits, vegetables and cut flowers provide potential pathways for entry into the EU. 

Climatic conditions in EU member states around the Mediterranean Sea where there is host plant availability, especially citrus, are conducive for establishment. The introduction of P. cryptus is expected to have an economic impact in the EU through reduction in yield and quality of important crops (mainly citrus) and damage to various ornamental plants. Phytosanitary measures are available to reduce the likelihood of entry and further spread. 

P. cryptus meets the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for this species to be regarded as a potential Union quarantine pest.


  • Pseudococcus cryptus


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Pest Risk Analysis Link to file

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