The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) is a cosmopolitan insect pest and causes great damage to many agricultural crops by direct feeding, and transmitting many plant viruses causing disastrous effects. The global distribution of B. tabaci was previously investigated, but so far, it has not been confirmed in Serbia. Sampling conducted on plants at three localities in Serbia revealed the presence of three whitefly species, one is B. tabaci Mediterranean (MED) species, a quarantine pest. Additionally, Trialeurodes vaporariorum Westwood and an Aleurodes sp. that was not identified to the species level were also confirmed. The last two are common and widespread species in Serbia. Whitefly collections were made from cabbage, kale and oilseed rape plants (Brassica oleracea, B. oleracea var. sabauda, B. napus, respectively) grown in the field, on sunflower (Helianthus annuus) grown in the greenhouse and on potted hibiscus (Hibiscus sp.) and poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) plants grown indoors. DNA sequence analysis from a portion of the Cytochrome Oxidase I gene (COI) revealed the presence of B. tabaci MED species, which is considered to be a very important pest worldwide and has been reported from neighbouring countries, however, not yet from Serbia. Bemisia tabaci MED is recorded here for the first time in Serbia. This first interception suggests its introduction with ornamentals grown indoors, with no outdoor reports and that it is not yet spread. This report is an important alert for local authorities to take the necessary steps in monitoring and preventing its possible expansion.
Journal of Applied Entomology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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