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Range Expansion of Metcalfa pruinosa (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea) in Southeastern Europe

Keywords: alien species , Metcalfa pruinosa , Flatidae , Romania

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Abstract:

The citrus flatid planthopper Metcalfa pruinosa, a Nearctic species of Fulgoroidea: Flatidae, was accidentally introduced in Europe, first in Italy in the late 1970’s. In a few decades, Metcalfa pruinosa has spread over most of Europe, finally reaching the Black Sea coast in 2009. Hundreds of individuals of different life stages were observed for the first time in the southeastern part of Romania throughout the summer of 2009 on several host plants: Hibiscus syriacus, Ligustrum vulgare, Robinia pseudoacacia, Evonymus japonicus, Spirea x vanhouttei, Aesculus hippocastanum, Philadelphus coronarius, Ficus carica, Vitis vinifera, Fraxinus pennsylvanica. The number of individuals observed and the area covered increased dramatically in 2010 as well as the number of host plants (110 species in 49 families), suggesting the planthopper is in the expansion phase of the invasion process.

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