Draeculacephala robinsoni, a potential vector of Xylella fastidiosa, found in Europe
Draeculacephala robinsoni from Spain

Draeculacephala robinsoni, a potential vector of Xylella fastidiosa, found in Europe

In the summer of 2021, the species Draeculacephala robinsoni was found in France and Spain. This is the first record of the  North-American genus Draeculacephala in Europe. 

Draeculacephala robinsoni is easily distinguishable from all other European Cicadellinae, the combination of the pointed head and green coloration is not found in any other European Cicadellinae. Rösch et al. 2022 discuss the identification and some taxonomic issues related to this species and the genus as a whole. 

The species is found in northeastern Spain and southwestern France. Here, the species is found along riverbeds and wetlands. Adults and nymphs were present from thlate May to late October. Like all Cicadellinae, Draeculacephala species are xylem feeders, which are known as vectors of Xylella fastidiosa, this makes the species a potential pest for vineyards, orchards etc.

References
  • Rösch, V., Marques, E., Miralles-Núñez, A., Zahniser, J. N. & Wilson, M. R. 2022. Draeculacephala robinsoni Hamilton, 1967 (Hemiptera: Auchenorrhyncha: Cicadellidae), a newly introduced species and genus in Europe with comments on its identification. Zootaxa 5116(3): 439-448.

By Marco de Haas

Updated 25 April 2022 14:27 GTM