Heteroptera Poloniae – Acta Faunistica
vol. 14: 121–123. Opole, 7 VI 2020
Heteroptera Poloniae – Acta Faunistica, vol. 14: 121–123, Opole, 7 VI 2020 ISSN 2083-201X
Erthesina Spinola, 1837 – a new alien genus for Europe found in Albania
ROLAND LUPOLI1*, TORSTEN VAN DER HEYDEN2, PARIDE DIOLI3
1 79 rue Jules Ferry, F-94120 Fontenay-sous-bois, France; 2 Immenweide 83, D-22523 Hamburg, Germany; 3 Museo
civico di Storia Naturale, Sezione di Entomologia, Corso Venezia 55, I-20121 Milan, Italy
*corresponding author: email@example.com
Abstract. The genus Erthesina is recorded for the first time in Europe. It has been observed at least 16 times in Albania since
2017 and since nymphs were found, it means the species is well implanted, can survive in winter, may become invasive and
cause damage to crops.
Key words: Heteroptera, Halyini, Erthesina fullo, Yellow Spotted Stink Bug, true bugs, invasive pest, Citrus, Pyrus, Albania.
Since March 2017, a large 20 to 25 mm dark stink bug
species never seen before in Europe has been observed
in Albania, close to the cities of Tirana and Durrës. A
total of 13 observations of this Pentatomidae species
were submitted to the iNaturalist internet platform
(https://www.inaturalist.org), three observations we-
re submitted to the Facebook group “Regjistri Elektro-
nik i Specieve Shqiptare”, as photographs of specimens
by various observers, as summarized below.
ALBANIA: 1 adult, 22.03.2017, Tirana, phot. teamcoordi-
nator; 1 adult, 30.10.2017, Tirana, phot. Aleksander Gole-
maj (Fig. 1); 1 adult, 04.2018, Tirana, phot. Besjan Cangu;
1 adult 09.2018, Linzë (Tirana), phot. Mediterranean loves
Albania; 1 adult, 24.12.2018, Durrës, phot. Marsel Mersi-
naj; 1 adult, 01.06.2019, Durrës, phot. Arian; 1 adult, 04.06.
2019, Durrës, phot. Arian; 1 nymph 4th instar, 17.06.2019,
Durrës, phot. Arian; 1 adult, 27.07.2019, Durrës, phot.
Arian; 1 nymph 4th instar, 27.07.2019, Durrës, phot. Arian
(Fig. 2); 8 nymphs (6 at 4th instar and 2 at 5th instar),
29.07.2019, on the trunk of a plane tree, Durrës, phot.
Arian; 1 adult, 07.09.2019, Durrës, phot. Arian; 1 adult,
14.09. 2019, Durrës, phot. Scott; 1 nymph at 5th instar, 15.
09.2019, Durrës, phot. Scott; 1 adult, 14.11.2019, Tirana,
phot. Eridan Xharahi; 1 adult, 29.03.2020, on strawberry,
Tirana, phot. Ermal Pishtari (Fig. 3).
This insect is a pentatomid with five-segmented an-
tennae and it belongs to the tribe Halyini characterized
by antennal insertions on the head, separated from eyes
by a distance at least equal to their diameter (Der-
janschi & Péricart 2005). It is blackish with many little
irregular yellow spots and a continuous longitudinal
median yellow line across the head and pronotum;
connexivum alternates black and yellow markings and
tibiae are yellow-banded. The head is relatively long,
pointed and tapered. These morphological characters
and comparisons with preserved specimens and pho-
tographs made us identify those specimens as a spe-
cies belonging to the genus Erthesina Spinola, 1837.
Fig. 1. Adult of Erthesina cf. fullo (Thunberg, 1783) from
Tirana, Albania, 30.10.2017 (photo: Aleksander Golemaj).
Three other species of Pentatomidae found in Eu-
rope and Albania look similar: Rhaphigaster nebulosa
(Poda, 1761), Halyomorpha halys (Stål, 1855) and
Apodiphus amygdali (Germar, 1817). The first two can
easily be distinguished because they are smaller than
Heteroptera Poloniae – Acta Faunistica, vol. 14: 121–123. Opole, 7 VI 2020 ISSN 2083-201X
17 mm and because the shape of the apex of their head
is rounded and not pointed. A. amygdali may have the
same size, but its head ends with two sharp teeth cor-
responding to the external borders of its jugae. All
those three species do not have a yellow middle longi-
tudinal line on the head and the pronotum.
Fig. 2. Nymph (4th instar) of Erthesina cf. fullo (Thunberg,
1783) from Durrës, Albania, 27.07.2019 (photo: Arjan Ndoni).
Fig. 3. Adult of Erthesina cf. fullo (Thunberg, 1783) from
Tirana, Albania, 29.03.2020 (photo: Ermal Pishtari).
In their revision of the genus Erthesina, Ah-
mad et al. (2004) recognized seven known world spe-
cies distributed from Pakistan to Japan: E. aberrans
Distant, 1918, E. acuminata Dallas, 1851, E. fullo
(Thunberg, 1783), E. guttata (Fabricius, 1787), E. ilia
China, 1925, E. pakistanensis Ahmad, Memon & Kama-
luddin, 2003, and E. robertsi Distant, 1908.
The head of E. fullo is as long as the pronotum so it
can be distinguished from E. pakistanensis with a head
longer than the pronotum and from E. aberrans with
a head shorter than the pronotum. In E. fullo anten-
nomers II are longer than III, although in E. robertsi they
are subequal and III shorter than II in E. ilia. E. guttata’s
body is olivaceous green and it is testaceous brown in
E. fullo. The head of E. acuminata is remarkably pointed
in the front with lateral margins slightly toothed near
the apex. Also its labium is long, reaching the base of the
last abdominal segment, although it is only reaching the
third abdominal segment in E. fullo.
From this revision of the genus Erthesina, we could
conclude that the species found in Albania is E. fullo.
However, Rider (2020) believes there are only two
Erthesina species in the world, one from the oriental
region, E. fullo, and one from the Indian subcontinent,
E. acuminata, meaning the other ones should be intra-
specific variations and considered as synonyms.
In order to distinguish E. fullo from E. acuminata,
the best would have been to examine the length of the
labium on the ventral side of the specimens from Alba-
nia, since the shape of the head seems to be a variable
character. But unfortunately, all the photographs from
Albania show the dorsal side of the specimens. Thus,
we cannot conclude without examining the specimens
from Albania if they are E. fullo or E. acuminata, and as
a consequence, if the species was introduced from
Southeast Asia or India.
However, we strongly believe the specimens ob-
served in Albania to be E. fullo. When we compare the
1170 observations of E. fullo in Southeast Asia on the
iNaturalist platform, we realize that the Albanian spe-
cimens have the same relatively stable coloration pat-
tern (globally dark brown with multiple small white
spots and two large black impunctate patches on me-
socoriae) while this coloration pattern is much more
variable and different in the 64 observations of
E. acuminata from India submitted to iNaturalist.
Also from these observations, we found in E. fullo
that its basal white spot of the antennomer V is rela-
tively small and represents less than 1/4 of its length,
while in E. acuminata it is relatively long, representing
about 1/3 of its length.
Although, taking into account the observations
submitted to iNaturalist and Facebook, only five adults
were observed in 2017 and 2018 in Albania, which
could have been like accidental introductions without
consequence, observations of six adults but especially
of eleven 4th and 5th instars nymphs between June and
November 2019 indicate that the species was able to
settle in Albania, reproduce and spend there at least
one or two winters.
Biology and damages
E. fullo is known as a phytophagous pest by the name
Yellow Spotted Stink Bug or YSSB in Asia (Malaysia,
Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Southern China up
to Beijing, Southern Japan up to Tokyo). It feeds on
timber, leaves and fruits of different species of trees. It
is considered as a major pest of orange and mandarin
fruits (Citrus sp.) (Li et al. 1997) and pear fruits (Pyrus
sp.) in Southern China. On common jujube (Ziziphus
jujuba) no damages are mentioned on fruits, but loss is
caused by precocious fruit drop (Song & Wang 1993).
It is also known as a pest of pine trees and hardwood
trees in Taiwan and of the cinnamon tree (Cin-
namomum cassia) in Vietnam. It is also able to feed on
various arbustive plants and trees in tropical and sub-
tropical areas, including the genera Ailanthus, Aver-
Heteroptera Poloniae – Acta Faunistica, vol. 14: 121–123. Opole, 7 VI 2020 ISSN 2083-201X
rhoa, Diospyros, Eucalyptus, Hibiscus, Mangifera, Melia,
Prunus, Psidium, Punica, Populus, Salix and Tectona
E. fullo is known to spread as a hitchhiker and it could
infest fruit consignments as eggs, nymphs or adults.
One adult specimen was intercepted once, apart from
its original geographical distribution, in New Zealand
in 2014 (EPPO 2020), but it was managed and control-
led and no other observation has been recorded there
since. In Albania, specimens were found on plane tree
(Platanus sp.), strawberries (Fragaria sp.) (Ermal
Pishtari, personal communication), and sometimes at
the homes or offices of various observers up to now
(Besjan Cangu and Aleksander Golemaj, personal
Before this actual report, it has never been re-
corded as an invasive species in Europe (Rabitsch
E. fullo might become an economic and ecological
danger in Europe. In Albania, citrus (orange and man-
darin) and pear crops should be inspected to check if
this alien species is present there and in that case,
control measures should be implemented to avoid the
spreading of this pest, knowing what happened with
H. halys, the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)
imported from China, which has almost entirely in-
vaded Europe and the United States (Leskey & Nielsen
We would like to thank Aleksander Golemaj, Arjan Ndoni and
Ermal Pishtari for allowing us to use their photos to illustrate
this paper and for additional information, Besjan Cangu,
Besnik Fetiu, Roland Lelaj and I. Nanaj for useful information,
Anja von Seth for reviewing the English language in this paper
and the social forum “Regjistri Elektronik i Specieve Shqip-
tare” for introducing a useful “Citizen Science” in researches
on the fauna of Albania.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution 4.0 International License
Received: 2 April 2020
Accepted: 18 May 2020