Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Mycosphaerella citri
(greasy spot)



Mycosphaerella citri (greasy spot)


  • Last modified
  • 14 July 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Mycosphaerella citri
  • Preferred Common Name
  • greasy spot
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Fungi
  •     Phylum: Ascomycota
  •       Subphylum: Pezizomycotina
  •         Class: Dothideomycetes

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Symptoms of greasy spot (Mycosphaerella citri) on leaves.
CaptionSymptoms of greasy spot (Mycosphaerella citri) on leaves.
Copyright©CABI-SEARC/Elizabeth Asteraki
Symptoms of greasy spot (Mycosphaerella citri) on leaves.
SymptomsSymptoms of greasy spot (Mycosphaerella citri) on leaves.©CABI-SEARC/Elizabeth Asteraki


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Mycosphaerella citri Whiteside

Preferred Common Name

  • greasy spot

Other Scientific Names

  • Cercospora citri-grisea F.E. Fisher
  • Stenella citri-grisea (F.E. Fisher) Sivan.

International Common Names

  • English: black: Citrus spp. melanose; citrus pink pitting; citrus rind blotch; greasy spot of citrus; greasy spot rind blotch; greasy spot: Citrus spp.; greasy: Citrus spp. melanose; pink pitting of citrus; pink pitting: Citrus spp.; rind blotch of citrus; rind blotch: Citrus spp.
  • Spanish: grasa de los agrios; mancha grasienta
  • French: graisse des agrumes

EPPO code

  • MYCOCI (Mycosphaerella citri)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Fungi
  •         Phylum: Ascomycota
  •             Subphylum: Pezizomycotina
  •                 Class: Dothideomycetes
  •                     Subclass: Dothideomycetidae
  •                         Order: Capnodiales
  •                             Family: Mycosphaerellaceae
  •                                 Genus: Mycosphaerella
  •                                     Species: Mycosphaerella citri

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes


ChinaPresentHe et al., 2000
-ZhejiangPresentHe et al., 2000
JapanPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Ryukyu ArchipelagoPresentIeki, 1986


EgyptPresentHaggag, 2012

North America

MexicoWidespreadOrozco Santos, 1987
USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-FloridaPresentTimmer et al., 2000
-TexasWidespreadTimmer et al., 1980; Davis, 1985

Central America and Caribbean

Costa RicaWidespreadHidalgo et al., 1998; Hidalgo et al., 1997
CubaWidespreadMarrero-Suarez et al., 1986; Suarez-Sotolengo, 1990
DominicaWidespreadIMI Herbarium, undated
Trinidad and TobagoPresentMabbett, 1998

South America

ArgentinaWidespreadFoguet et al., 1979
BoliviaWidespreadIMI Herbarium, undated
BrazilPresentSilva et al., 2009
-BahiaPresentSilva et al., 2009
ParaguayWidespreadGonzalez Segnana et al., 1997


AustraliaRestricted distributionIMI Herbarium, undated

Growth Stages

Top of page Fruiting stage, Vegetative growing stage

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Fruit / lesions: scab or pitting
Leaves / abnormal leaf fall
Leaves / necrotic areas

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Clothing, footwear and possessionsDead leaves. Yes
Containers and packaging - woodDead leaves. Yes
Land vehiclesDead leaves. Yes
MailDear leaves. Yes
Plants or parts of plantsDead leaves. Yes

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Fruits (inc. pods) hyphae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Leaves hyphae Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants hyphae Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Growing medium accompanying plants
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches
True seeds (inc. grain)


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Davis RM, 1985. Timing of a single fungicide application for control of greasy spot rind blotch on grapefruit. Journal of the Rio Grande Valley Horticultural Society, 38:37-41.

Fisher FE, 1961. Greasy spot and tar spot of citrus in Florida. Phytopathology, 51:297-303.

Foguet JL, Gonzalez JL, 1979. Relacion entre la epoca de aplicacion de tratamientos fungicidas y la eficacia del control de manchas de los pomelos. Rev. Industial y Agricola de Tucuman 56(1): 11-15.

Foguet JL, Gonzalez JL, Campo SA, 1979. Relationship between the time of fungicide application and the efficiency of control of grapefruit rind spot. Revista Industrial y Agricola de Tucuman, 56(1):11-15

Gonzßlez Segnana L, Villalba NV, Armadans A, Shokara K, Timmer LW, 1997. Incidence of tristeza and other citrus diseases in Paraguay. In: Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society, 100:43-46.

Haggag WM, 2012. First report of Mycosphaerella citri, the agent of greasy spot of orange in Egypt. Journal of Plant Pathology, 94(4, Supplement):S4.92.

He ZhaoBin, Li YuJin, Xu DongLiang, 2000. Test of effectiveness of several pesticides to be used for prevention of Mycosphaerella citri Whiteside of Chanshan shaddock. Journal of Zhejiang Forestry Science and Technology, 20(5):54-55, 59.

Hidalgo H, Sutton TB, Arauz F, 1997. Epidemiology and control of citrus greasy spot on Valencia orange in the humid tropics of Costa Rica. Plant Disease, 81(9):1015-1022; 10 ref.

Ieki H, 1986. The causal fungus of citrus greasy spot in Okinawa district of Japan. Annals of the Phytopathological Society of Japan, 52(3):484-487

IMI Herbarium, undated. Herbarium specimen. International Mycological Institute (now CABI Bioscience) Herbarium. Egham, UK: CABI Bioscience.

Koizumi M, 1986. Sporobolomyces roseus, a causal agent of citrus pseudo greasy spot (Nise-ohan-byo) and the infection process of disease. Annals of the Phytopathological Society of Japan, 52(5):758-765

Marco GM, Whiteside JO, 1986. A disease similar to greasy spot but of unknown etiology on citrus leaves in Argentina. Plant Disease, 70(11):1074

Silva SXde B, Laranjeira FF, Soares ACF, Michereff SJ, 2009. Sampling, characterization of citrus greasy spot (Mycosphaerella citri) symptoms in Recôncavo Baiano and development of a diagrammatic scale for assessment of severity. (Amostragem, caracterização de sintomas e escala diagramática da mancha graxa dos citros (Mycosphaerella citri) no Recôncavo Baiano.) Ciência Rural, 39(3):896-899.

Timmer LW, 1999. Diseases of fruit and foliage. In: Timmer LW, Duncan LW, eds. Citrus Health Management. St. Paul, Minnesota, USA: APS Press, 107-115.

Timmer LW, Gottwald TR, 2000. Greasy spot and similar diseases. In: Timmer LW, Garnsey SM, Graham JH, eds. Compendium of citrus diseases. St Paul, Minnesota, USA: APS Press, 25-28.

Timmer LW, Reeve RJ, Davis RM, 1980. Epidemiology and control of citrus greasy spot on grapefruit in Texas. Phytopathology, 70(9):863-867

Timmer LW, Roberts PD, Darhower HM, Bushong PM, Stover EW, Peever TL, Ibáñez AM, 2000. Epidemiology and control of citrus greasy spot in different citrus-growing areas in Florida. Plant Disease, 84(12):1294-1298.

Timmer LW, Zitko SE, 1995. Evaluation of nutritional products and fungicides for control of citrus greasy spot. Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society, No. 108:83-87; 11 ref.

Wellings CR, 1981. Pathogenicity of fungi associated with citrus greasy spot in New South Wales. Transactions of the British Mycological Society, 76(3):495-499

Whiteside JO, 1970. Etiology and epidemiology of citrus greasy spot. Phytopathology, 60:1409-1414.

Whiteside JO, 1972. Histopathology of greasy spot and identification of the causal fungus. Phytopathology, 62:260-263.

Whiteside JO, 1973. Action of oil in the control of citrus greasy spot. Phytopathology, 63(2):262-266

Whiteside JO, 1974. Environmental factors affecting infection of citrus leaves by Mycosphaerella citri. Phytopathology, 64:115-120.

Whiteside JO, 1979. Behavior and control of greasy spot in Florida citrus groves. In: Grierson W, ed. Proceedings of the International Society of Citriculture, 3:981-986

Whiteside JO, 1980. Tolerance of Mycosphaerella citri to benomyl in Florida citrus groves. Plant Disease, 64(3):300-302

Whiteside JO, 1981. Aberrant behaviour of Mycosphaerella citri on freeze-killed citrus leaf tissue and its taxonomic and epidemiologic implications. Phytopathology, 71(10):1108-1110

Whiteside JO, 1982. Effect of temperature on the development of citrus greasy spot. In: Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society, 95:66-68.

Whiteside JO, 1982. Timing of single-spray treatments for optimal control of greasy spot on grapefruit leaves and fruit. Plant Disease, 66(8):687-690

Whiteside JO, 1983. Fungicidal effects of some acaricides on Mycosphaerella citri. Plant Disease, 67(8):864-866

Whiteside JO, 1984. Reliability of spray treatments for reducing greasy spot-induced defoliation on grapefruit trees. Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society, 97:56-59

Yamada S, 1956. Studies on the greasy spot (black melanose) of citrus. II. Morphological characteristics of the causal fungus (Mycosphaerella horii Hara). In: Hortic. Div. Nat. Tokai Kinki Agric. Exp. Stn. Bull. 3, 49-62.

Distribution Maps

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