Pest categorisation of Tetraleurodes perseae
The EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Tetraleurodes perseae (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae), the red-banded whitefly, for the territory of the EU.
T. perseae is a tropical and subtropical species that originated in the Neotropical region and has now spread and established in the USA (California and Florida), Israel and Lebanon. T. perseae is not listed in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072.
It is oligophagous on Lauraceae and most frequently reported on avocado (Persea americana), on which it is considered a minor or secondary pest. No evidence was found indicating damage to other plants. T. perseae larvae develop on the foliage and don’t attack the fruit. The number of generations per year varies between one and ten. High populations may promote the growth of black sooty moulds on the foliage and fruit, and adults feeding on the buds can lead to deformed immature leaves and premature leaf drop. However, T. perseae populations are usually effectively controlled by hymenopteran parasitoids, at least one of which (Cales noacki) is widespread in the EU. The producers of organic avocados in the EU could encourage the use of C. noacki, although occasional outbreaks of T. perseae could temporarily impact the fruit quality.
Adults disperse naturally by flying and all stages can be moved over long distances by the trade of infested plant material. Plants for planting provide potential pathways for entry and spread in the EU.
Climatic conditions and availability of host plants in southern EU countries are conducive for establishment. Phytosanitary measures are available to reduce the risk. T. perseae satisfies all of the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for it to be regarded as a potential Union quarantine pest. However, this conclusion has a high uncertainty regarding magnitude of potential impact as the insect is a minor and sporadic pest in its current area of distribution.
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- Czech Republic