Increasing geographical distribution of a leafhopper harmful to vines towards Western Europe
Initially discovered in Japan, the Asian leafhopper Arboridia kakogawana has been recently identified in Europe.

Firs identified in southern Russia back in 1999, the Asian leafhopper Arboridia kakogawana has been recently identified in Bulgaria (besides Romania and Serbia). The leafhopper was found in 16 out of the 65 listed localities in Bulgaria. The pest clearly continues to expand all over Western Europe, with yet not identified drivers.

A. kakogawana overwinter in broad‐leaved and mixed forests and move to vineyards in the spring where there may be up to four generations. A. kakogawana has a restricted host range (Vitis spp. and Parthenocissus quinquefolia), but it occurs on many broad‐leaved trees where overwintering takes place, as well as isolated bark and wood with bark provide potential pathways. A. kakogawana satisfies all the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for it to be regarded as a potential Union quarantine pest (UQP).

According to a publication of 2020, A. kakogawana was still in the expansion phase of its invasion process in Bulgaria and had a limited distribution, mainly in the Northern Bulgaria and the Black Sea coast. Heavily infested plants were detected only in towns along the Danube River, which shows that the leafhopper most probably has been introduced into Bulgaria unintentionally from Romania.

The current distribution pattern of the species in Bulgaria suggests that its dispersal is human-mediated and the main pathways are the transport of contaminant nursery material and transport-stowaway.

Natural dispersal ofthe species is less probable, since the sites with the presence of the species were surrounded by large areas where the species was not detected, despite the fact that planting of grape plants in private gardens is very common in Bulgaria.


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