Also known as the African citrus psyllid, Trioza erytreae is a biting-sucking insect that causes considerable direct damage to citrus fruits and other ornamental hosts, and is the vector of citrus greening disease. Also know as Huanglongbing disease, it is considered the most serious illness worldwide for these plant species. The disease is caused by the bacterium Candidatus liberibacter africanus.
In Africa and the Middle East, T. erytreae transmits this pathogen directly and under natural conditions; however, it has already been demonstrated in the laboratory that it also has the capacity to transmit its Asian form (Candidatus liberibacter asiaticum).
With an established presence in Africa and in some regions of the Middle East, this insect listed as a quarantine pest can also settle and spread in Mediterranean countries and has already been detected in Portugal.
Although the bacterium causing citrus greening has not been identified in Europe, the insect is present in Galicia, on the north and central coast of Portugal, in the Canary Islands and Madeira. With the vector in Portugal, the likelihood of citrus greening introduction and dispersal is high.
The presence of a quarantine pest, officially confirmed, in a part of the territory in which it was previously absent, requires the establishment of demarcated areas. The updated list of civil parishes that make up the demarcated zone (infested areas) and the buffer zone (totally or partially comprised parishes, in a surrounding area within a radius of three kilometers with no signs of the presence of T. eritreae) can be accessed through DGAV’s website.