Ricupero, M., Biondi, A., Russo, A., ZappalĂ , L., & Mazzeo, G. 2021 The Cotton Mealybug Is Spreading along the Mediterranean: First Pest Detection in Italian Tomatoes. Insects doi.org/10.3390/insects12080675


  • dispersal
  • distribution
  • host
  • Notes: We recorded for the first time P. solenopsis in association with tomato in greenhouse crops and urban landscapes in Sicily (Italy) during the fall season in 2020. The species was identified as P. solenopsis based on the morphological characters and DNA amplification of an ~800 bp portion of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (mtCOI) gene. The phylogenetic analysis among the obtained P. solenopsis mtCOI sequences with those already available in GenBank suggests Asian countries as a potential source of new introduction. This is the first record of P. solenopsis attacking tomato plants in Italy and may represent a potential threat for tomato production in Europe and nearby countries.