Orange spiny whitefly - a dangerous invasive pest.
Aleurocanthus spiniferus (Quaintance, 1903) (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae: Aleyrodinae), commonly known as orange spiny whitefly, is a quarantine pest native to south-east Asia. In Europe, A. spiniferus was detected for the first time in italy in 2008. In Croatia, it was detected and eradicated in 2012. Subsequent findings date from 2013 from Montenegro and 2016 from Greece. A. spiniferus is a polyphagous pest that feeds on numerous plant species, with preference to host plants from genera Citrus, Pyrus and Vitis. Both larvae and adults cause damage to their host plants by feeding on plant sap from leaves' underside and by excretion of copious amounts of sticky honeydew that is subsequently infested by black sooty mould. A. spiniferus was found in Croatia in 2018 in the most southern part of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, in mandarin orchard and on surrounding wild flora in Vitaljina. This was the first finding of this pest in nature in Croatia. During 2019 the pest continued to spread through the area of Konavle, while a new outbreak on the island of Hvar was recorded. As a new member of Croatian fauna, this invasive pest presents high phytosanitary risk to various agricultural crops, in particular to citrus orchards in the Neretva river valley and vineyards on southern slopes of Hvar.