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Erthesina Spinola, 1837 – a new alien genus for Europe found in Albania (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae)

  • Université de Paris Cité
  • Independent researcher
  • Natural History Museum Milan - Italy

Abstract and Figures

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.
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Heteroptera Poloniae Acta Faunistica
vol. 14: 121123. Opole, 7 VI 2020
ISSN 2083-201X
Heteroptera Poloniae Acta Faunistica, vol. 14: 121123, Opole, 7 VI 2020 ISSN 2083-201X
Erthesina Spinola, 1837 a new alien genus for Europe found in Albania
(Hemiptera: Pentatomidae)
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:
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
(, 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, Durs, 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: 121123. 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: 121123. Opole, 7 VI 2020 ISSN 2083-201X
rhoa, Diospyros, Eucalyptus, Hibiscus, Mangifera, Melia,
Prunus, Psidium, Punica, Populus, Salix and Tectona
(EPPO 2020).
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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na fullo (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae); available from:
ERTNFU.pdf; accessed: 02.04.2020.
Leskey T.C., Nielsen A.L. 2018. Impact of the Invasive
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Li L., Wang R., Waterhouse D.F. 1997. The Distribution
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Song H.W., Wang C.M. 1993. Damage by Halyomorpha
halys (Stål) and Erthesina fullo (Thunberg) to ju-
jube trees and their control. Entomological
Knowledge 30 (4): 225228.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution 4.0 International License
Received: 2 April 2020
Accepted: 18 May 2020
... In 2014, a specimen of E. fullo was found in Temuka, New Zealand (Mitchell 2014), however, new records were not detected. Since 2017, it has been recorded in Tirana and Durrës, Albania, where it was able to reproduce and survive (Lupoli et al. 2020(Lupoli et al. , 2021. These records call attention to Here, we report for the first time the presence of E. fullo in the Neotropical Region based on four records found in Santos, São Paulo State, Southeastern Brazil. ...
... On the other hand, there is no record of the YSSB on any important commodity crops, such as corn, cotton, and soybean, which in Brazil include other native Nevertheless, considering the polyphagous habits of E. fullo, the plant diversity, and the extensive and varied agricultural activity in Brazil, the surveillance of the species is an important step toward its management. The installation of traps in the area and the constant inspection of citizen science initiatives, such as iNaturalist and other online resources, are important tools to contribute to the identification and monitoring of this stink bug, as demonstrated to B. subaenus (Eger et al. 2020), H. halys (Maistrello et al. 2016), and E. fullo (Lupoli et al. 2020). ...
In recent years, the management of invasive stink bugs (Pentatomidae) has been a challenge in many regions of the world, including the Neotropical, where four non-native species were detected in the last two decades. Species with invasive potential include the yellow-spotted stink bug, Erthesina fullo (Thunberg). It is polyphagous and is known to cause damages to fruit crops in Southeast Asia. Herein, we report for the first time the occurrence of E. fullo in Brazil (Santos, São Paulo). Nymphs and adults have been recorded nearby the Harbor of Santos since November 2020. A fifth instar nymph was collected and reared until adulthood. The insect was found feeding on Inga sp. leaves (Fabaceae), a plant restricted to the Neotropical Region. The detection of multiple specimens in Santos, plus their ability to feed on native and or on cultivated plants, may represent a threat to the Brazilian agribusiness and environment.
... The collected specimens, over 500, were gradually studied as species new for that region. New photographic images on naturalistic and social forums were also recently reported by van der Heyden's several papers (Lupoli et al. 2020(Lupoli et al. , 2021van der Heyden 2017avan der Heyden , 2017bvan der Heyden , 2017cvan der Heyden , 2017dvan der Heyden , 2017e, 2017f, 2018avan der Heyden , 2018bvan der Heyden , 2018cvan der Heyden , 2019van der Heyden & Dioli 2019). Also, some ecological notes were presented (Halimi et al. 2010). ...
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This paper reviews the alien (non-native, non-indigenous, exotic) true bug (Heteroptera) species in Europe. Forty-two established alien Heteroptera are recognized, of which 12 species are alien to Europe (originating outside Europe: eight from North America, three from the Eastern Palaearctic, one from New Zealand), 24 species are alien within Europe (translocated within Europe), and six cryptogenic species are of unknown origin. Since 1990 an approximate arrival rate of 7 species per decade has been observed. A recent trend of increased introductions from North America to Europe is suggested. The most important pathway of alien Heteroptera is translocation as contaminants (49 %), usually with ornamental plants, followed by unintentional introduction through natural dispersal (unaided) across political borders within Europe (28 %), and translocation as stowaways within a transport vector (21 %). The taxonomic composition of the alien Heteroptera of Europe is dominated by Miridae (17 species, 40 %), Tingidae (8 species, 19 %), and Anthocoridae (5 species, 12 %), all of which are overrepresented compared to the native European Heteroptera fauna. More than half of the species are phytophagous (24 species, 57 %) and the advantage of trophic specialization in invasion success is discussed. Most species are currently known to occur in the Czech Republic (19 species) and Germany (17 species), followed by Western European countries (Belgium 15 sp., France and United Kingdom 14 sp. each, and Netherlands 13 sp.), resulting in an apparent (north)west-(south)east gradient probably reflecting horticultural tradition in Europe. No unambiguous evidence exists so far for negative ecological or economical impacts, but more research is needed to investigate possible effects. Introductions of alien Heteroptera to and within Europe will increase, and deserve further consideration.
Hayline stink bug genus Erthesina Spinola with its seven known world species is revised with brief distinguishing features and zoogeographical distribution. The characters of each taxon are scanned from the present descriptions and those given in the literature to date, and their apomorphic states are recognized, on the basis of out group comparison within the tribe Haylini at large. A cladogram is also constructed based on the principle of parisimony to throw light on the evolutionary relationships of the included taxa.
Faune de France. -90 -. Hémiptères Pentatomoidea euro-méditerranéens
  • V Derjanschi
  • J Péricart
Derjanschi V., Péricart J. 2005. Faune de France. -90 -. Hémiptères Pentatomoidea euro-méditerranéens.
Erthesina Spinola, 1837
  • D A Rider
Rider D.A. 2020. Erthesina Spinola, 1837. Available from: a/Genus_Halyini/Erthesina.htm; accessed: 02.04. 2020.
Damage by Halyomorpha halys (Stål) and Erthesina fullo (Thunberg) to jujube trees and their control
  • H W Song
  • C M Wang
Song H.W., Wang C.M. 1993. Damage by Halyomorpha halys (Stål) and Erthesina fullo (Thunberg) to jujube trees and their control. Entomological Knowledge 30 (4): 225-228.