Rose flea beetle [Luperomorpha xanthodera (Fairmaire, 1888)] - a new invasive pest of ornamentals in Croatia.
Rose flea beetle Luperomorpha xanthodera (Fairmaire, 1888)] is an alien pest species originating from China. In Europe, it was detected for the first time out of Its natural habitat in Britain in 2003. After that, the pest has rapidly spread across Europe. Adults are polyphagous, mainly anthophagous, causing damage on plants belonging to 23 genera from 19 botanical families, preferring flowers with most intense scent or richest in pollen. Feeding damage affects petals and cause destruction of flowers that can be extensive. In Croatia, L xanthodera was found for the first time in August 2019 on flowers of lemon seedlings in nursery in Rovinj, and later during the same year in 14 more continental and coastal localities, on nine ornamental plant species from six different families. Plants whose flowers were severely attacked by adults were greenhouse-grown lemon, as well as oleander, rose and hibiscus in the open. Flea beetles collected from infested flowers were identified to the species level on the basis of morphological characters of adults and their genitalia, using classical identification method according to relevant morphological keys. As a new member of Croatian entomofauna, this invasive pest presents a serious threat to many flowering ornamental species grown in public green spaces, parks and private gardens.