Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The first detection of the alien species: green-peach aphid Myzus (Nectarosiphon) persicae (INSECTA, HEMIPTERA, APHIDIDAE) in the Svalbard archipelago.

Abstract

Although the high Arctic archipelago Svalbard is among the best-studied Arctic regions in terms of biodiversity, its aphid fauna is extremely limited. Two endemic species have been described to date, and no species of a foreign origin has been registered. Our observation is the first record of the non-native and potentially invasive green-peach aphid species Myzus (Nectarosiphon) persicae (Insecta, Hemiptera, Aphididae), which was collected on the largest island of the archipelago-Spitsbergen. The green-peach aphid was found on three different ornamental plants: Viola tricolor (Violaceae), Dianthus caryophyllus (Pink Kisses) (Caryophyllaceae) and Petunia × hybrida (surfinia) (Solanaceae). The plants were displayed in front of one of the shops in the main street of Longyearbyen, the largest populated settlement of Svalbard. The infected plants came from the only supermarket on the archipelago, which had brought them from the mainland of Norway. Although the aphids (winged and wingless viviparous females and immature ones) were clearly visible on all of the plants (the distinct colonies from few to numerous individuals), the owners were not aware that the plants were infected. Similarly, the supermarket staff who are responsible for the live green plants did not register the presence of aphids on the imported plants. In this context, our results also suggest that a stricter approach to regional biosecurity needs to be considered in order to avoid the risks of further unintentional introductions.