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Pest categorisation of Leucinodes pseudorbonalis


The EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of the snout moth Leucinodes pseudorbonalis Mally, Korycinska, Agassiz, Hall, Hodgetts & Nuss (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), for the territory of the EU. This species is not included in the EU Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/2072. This oligophagous species, which feeds on fruit and leaves of Solanum aethiopicum (Ethiopian eggplant) and S. melongena (eggplant), is known to occur in sub‐Saharan Africa (Angola, Liberia, Senegal, Uganda). Adults oviposit on leaves and newly hatched caterpillars can bore into shoots, causing wilting and dieback, before moving into the fruit, which they tunnel. Damage may be visible only if the fruit is cut open. A single aubergine can be infested by up to 20 larvae. Mature larvae abandon the fruit to pupate in a cocoon in the soil. Adult moths fly for short distances only in darkness. Potential entry pathways for L. pseudorbonalis, such as Solanum spp. plants for planting and soil/growing media are regulated and can be considered as closed. The fruit and leaves pathways remain open from countries where L. pseudorbonalis is known to occur. Indeed, this species was intercepted in the EU with S. aethiopicum eight times from January to June 2021. Should L. pseudorbonalis enter the EU, host availability (S. melongena) and climatic conditions in some limited areas of southern EU Member States could allow this species to successfully establish and spread within these areas. Economic impact in aubergine production is anticipated if establishment occurs. L. pseudorbonalis satisfies the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for this species to be regarded as a potential Union quarantine pest. Because this is a recently described species, there are knowledge gaps related to the biology of this moth and its distribution. However, these gaps do not affect the conclusions of this categorisation.

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