Ricania speculum (Walker) (Homoptera Ricaniidae): the next destructive planthopper of grapevine in Europe?


Abstract: Ricania speculum is a new polyphagous planthopper to Europe, detected for the first time in 2014, near Genoa (Liguria, Italy). One year later it was found near La Spezia, where it was observed on many cultivated and wild plants. The eggs are inserted by the female inside the leaf midribs or in the young twigs, frequently leading to the death of the tissues in which they are released. The juveniles produce abundant wax secretions. The adults have large anterior brown wings, with five characteristic transparent spots. Eggs, juveniles and adults were observed on American and European grapevines. The eggs were laid in alternate rows, in several plant tissues. As yet, the species does not represent a real problem but it is spreading and the size of its populations is also increasing. Its possible role as a pathogen vector in grapevine should be investigated.

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