Pest categorisation of Nilaparvata lugens
The EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Nilaparvata lugens (Hemiptera: Delphacidae), the brown planthopper, for the European Union. N. lugens is widespread in Asia where it is native; it also occurs in Oceania where it is naturalised. N. lugens is not known to be present in the EU and is not listed in Annex II of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072. It is a monophagous species and a major pest of rice (Oryza sativa). High populations of planthoppers cause leaves to initially turn orange yellow before becoming brown and dry and this is a condition called ‘hopperburn’ that kills the plant. N. lugens can also transmit plant viruses. It can complete 12 generations per year in tropical areas, where it resides year-round. N. lugens can undertake long-distance migration of up to 500 km from tropical areas to form transient populations in sub-tropical and temperate areas but due to low temperatures and absence of rice plants during the winter it does not establish in such areas. Entry to the EU via migration is unlikely given the distance from tropical rice growing areas. A possible but unlikely potential pathway is the import of infested rice seedlings, although we have no evidence that such trade exists. In the EU, rice is mainly planted from seed; when transplanted, it is sourced locally. N. lugens is very unlikely to survive year-round in the EU due to unsuitable climate and lack of hosts during the winter. Consequently, the pest is very unlikely to become established in the EU territory. Nevertheless, there are measures available to further reduce the likelihood of entry, establishment and spread of N. lugens within the EU. N. lugens does not satisfy the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for it to be regarded as a potential Union quarantine pest.
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