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Pest categorisation of Leptinotarsa decemlineata

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The EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata (Say) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) for the EU. L. decemlineata is primarily known as a major defoliator of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum); feeding damage can result in significant yield loss. Field grown tomatoes and eggplants can be attacked and wild solanaceous species are also hosts. Having first established in Europe from North America in the early 20th century, L. decemlineata is now distributed in 21 EU Member States and is regulated in the EU by Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/2072, (Annex III) with protected zones in place for Cyprus, Ireland, Malta, Northern Ireland, parts of Spain (Ibiza and Menorca) and Portugal (Azores and Madeira), seven districts of Finland and five counties in Sweden. Adults occasionally enter some protected zones due to wind currents that carry flying adults; pathways are also provided by plant produce moved in trade. The availability of hosts and suitable climate make establishment of the pest possible in protected zones in the EU, especially in the southern EU. Spread within the protected zones could occur via adult flight and via leafy vegetables moved in trade. Impacts on potato yields would be expected within the protected zones; outdoor grown tomatoes and eggplants could be impacted in the protected zones of southern Member States too. Previous incursions into the current protected zones have been eradicated. L. decemlineata satisfies all of the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess, to conclude that it is a potential protected zone quarantine pest. L. decemlineata does not satisfy all of the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess with respect to regulated non‐quarantine pest status, specifically plants for planting are not the main means of spread.

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