Pest categorisation of Scirtothrips citri

Citrus thrips, citrus, blueberries, pest risk, plant health, plant pest, quarantine
First published in the EFSA Journal
2 March 2018
1 February 2018
Scientific Opinion


The Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of the citrus thrips, Scirtothrips citri(Moulton) (Thysanoptera: Thripidae), for the European Union (EU). This is a well-defined and distinguishable species, occurring in North America and Asia. Its precise distribution in Asia is uncertain. S. citri is a pest of citrus and blueberries and has been cited on over 50 different host species in 33 plant families. Whether all plants reported as hosts are true hosts, allowing population development of S. citri, is uncertain. S. citri feeds exclusively on young actively growing foliage and fruit. It is not known to occur in the EU and is listed in Annex IIAI of 2000/29/EC as a harmful organism. The international trade of hosts, as either plants for planting or cut flowers, provide potential pathways into the EU. However, current EU legislation prohibits the import of citrus plants for planting. Furthermore, measures aimed at the import of plants for planting in a dormant stage (no young foliage or fruits present) with no soil/growing medium attached, decreases the likelihood of the pest's entry via other hosts. Considering that there are regional climatic similarities where S. citri occurs in the USA with climates in the EU, and taking EU host distribution into account, S. citri has the potential to establish in the EU, especially in citrus and blueberry growing regions around the Mediterranean where quality losses in citrus and yield losses in blueberry could occur. Phytosanitary measures are available to inhibit the likelihood of introduction of S. citri from infested countries. Considering the criteria within the remit of EFSA to assess its status as a potential Union quarantine pest (QP) or as a potential regulated non-quarantine pest (RNQP), S. citri meets with no uncertainties the criteria assessed by EFSA for consideration as a potential Union QP.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Claude Bragard, David Caffier, Thierry Candresse, Elisavet Chatzivassiliou, Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz, Gianni Gilioli, Jean-Claude Gregoire, Josep Anton Jaques Miret, Michael Jeger, Alan MacLeod, Maria Navajas Navarro, Björn Niere, Stephen Parnell, Roel Potting, Trond Rafoss, Vittorio Rossi, Gregor Urek, Ariena Van Bruggen, Wopke Van der Werf, Jonathan West and Stephan Winter.
Panel on Plant Health
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EFSA Journal 2018;16(3):5189
Question Number
On request from
European Commission