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On the recent Northern European dispersion of Zelus renardii Kolenati (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Reduviidae) via human activity

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Recently, single specimens of the Nearctic bug species Zelus renardii Kolenati, 1856 were found in Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom. Very likely, these specimens were introduced via human activity, especially the transport of fruits from the Mediterranean Region.
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ISRAEL JOURNAL OF ENTOMOLOGY, Vol. 51, pp. 43– 46 (30 April 2021)
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.4730423; ISSN (online) 2224-6304
Received: 3 March 2021 / Revised: 25 April 2021 / Accepted: 27 April 2021
On the recent Northern European dispersion of Zelus renardii
Kolenati (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Reduviidae)
via human activity
Immenweide 83, Hamburg, 22523 Germany. E-mail:
Recently, single specimens of the Nearctic bug species Zelus renardii Kolenati,
1856 were found in Denmark, Germany and the United Kingdom. Very likely,
these specimens were introduced via human activity, especially the transport of
fruits from the Mediterranean Region.
KEYWORDS: Reduviidae, assassin bugs, distribution, international commerce,
invasive, Europe.
Kürzlich wurden einzelne Exemplare der nearktischen Wanzenart Zelus re nar-
dii Kolenati, 1856 in Dänemark, Deutschland und dem Vereinigten Kö nig reich
gefunden. Sehr wahrscheinlich wurden diese Exemplare durch mensch liche
Aktivität eingeführt, insbesondere den Transport von Obst aus dem Mittel meer-
   
Zelus Fabricius, 1803 (Reduviidae: 
bug genera with over 70 species confined to the New World (Zhang et al. 2016).
The invasive Nearctic Zelus renardii Kolenati, 1856 (Fig. 1) is the only species of
the genus that has been introduced to Europe (Zhang et al
& Grosso-Silva 2020).
In Europe, Z. renardii was first detected in Greece (Davranoglou 2011; Petrakis
& Moulet 2011). Since then, the species was reported from Albania, France, ad-
di tional locations in mainland Greece and Crete, Italy (including Sardinia and
Sicily), Portugal, Spain and Turkey (Baena & Torres 2012; Vivas 2012; Dioli
et al. 2016; Simov
et al. 2017; Pinzari et al. 2018; Rodríguez Lozano et al. 2018; Garrouste 2019;
Goula et al. 2019; Bella 2020; Pérez-Gómez et al. 2020; Rattu & Dioli 2020; van
Z. renardii was found in northern
Very recently, a single specimen of Z. renardii was found in the city of Tenin-
gen, located in Baden-Württemberg in the south-western part of Germany (van der
The material was examined from photographs uploaded to the online database
The findings of single specimens of Z. renardii in Denmark, Germany and Eng-
land mentioned in this paper are the first ones for the respective countries. They
have to be considered isolated records, found more or less far away from other
Eu ropean records of the species: Jerup is located in northern Denmark, Teningen
part of England, near the Scottish border. All three specimens were found indoors.
Very likely, two of them were introduced via the transport of grapes from Italy and
Greece, respectively, as they were found on grapes imported from these countries
Fig. 1: Specimen of Zelus renardii
ZELUS RENARDII 45
specimen found in Low Lorton had accidentally been placed with the grapes in a
refrigerator for several days before it was discovered alive on the stalk (P. Williams,
pers. comm.)
As long as only single specimens of Z. renardii are introduced to regions located
in the northern part of Western Europe or in Northern Europe via human activity,
it is unlikely that the species will be able to establish itself in these regions. On the
other hand, the climate conditions, for example in Denmark, Germany and the Uni-
ted Kingdom, might be suitable for the species to spread from the Mediterranean
Region, its main European distribution area, northwards. The optimal temperature
et al. 2018), but it might be
possible that nymphs reach the adult stage at lower temperatures (Rattu & Dioli
2020). Further research on the distribution of Z. renardii in European regions north
of the Mediterranean Region might lead to more knowledge on the issue.
I like to thank the photographers of the above-mentioned photographs for making their findings
available to the public. Many thanks to Cornelia Bauser (Teningen, Germany) and Patricia Williams
(Low Lorton, United Kingdom) for additional information about their findings. Special thanks are due
to Leonidas-Romanos Davranoglou (University of Oxford, United Kingdom) for his comments on an
earlier draft of the manuscript.
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Zelus Biodiver-
sity Data Journal 4: e8150.
... Yabancı Heteroptera türleri ile ilgili Avrupa ülkelerinde çok sayıda çalışma bulunmaktadır (Essl ve Rabitsch, 2004;Rabitsch, 2008Rabitsch, , 2010Rabitsch ve Heiss, 2005;Forster ve ark., 2005;Davranoglou, 2011;Protic ve Šeat, 2016;Hemala ve Kment, 2017;van der Heyden, , 2018van der Heyden, , 2021Cianferoni ve ark., 2018Cianferoni ve ark., , 2019Csóka ve ark, 2019;. Bu çalışmada yabancı Heteroptera türleri ile ilgili olarak daha önceki yıllarda Türkiye'de yapılan çalışmalar (Mutun, 2003(Mutun, , 2009Kıvan, 2004;Fent ve Aktaç, 2007;Mutun ve ark., 2009;Fent ve Kment, 2011;Çerçi ve Koçak, 2016Çerçi ve Koçak, , 2017Çerçi ve ark., 2019;Çerçi ve Oruz, 2021;Dursun ve Fent, 2018, yapılan yerlerden reçine sızıntıları olduğu ve buna bağlı olarak genç kozalakların olgunlaşmadan düştükleri belirlenmiştir (Oğuzoğlu ve Avcı, 2020). ...
Fungal and bacterial diseases are the major constraint on cabbage production in Turkey and worldwide. The prevalence of disease problems was not surveyed on cabbage in Turkey. This lack of information about the potential threat of cabbage diseases in Niğde province, a major producer of Turkey, provided the impetus for this study. In this chapter, we describe major diseases or disorders of cabbage monitored in 300 fields at more than 30 sites across Niğde in 2017-2018. According to the results obtained, black rot disease caused by X. campestris pv. campestris was the most common and important bacterial disease in the cabbage production areas of Niğde province. Blackleg caused by Leptosphaeria maculans was the predominant fungal disease limiting production but, with the increased intensification of production, head rots and other sporadic or minor diseases monitored may cause quantitative and qualitative losses and reduce the shelf life of cabbage. Microscopic examination of fungal cultures obtained from collected samples and pathogenicity tests confirmed Alternaria brassicae (15 isolates), A. brassicicola (34 isolates), and A. japonica (8 isolates) as causal agents for Alternaria leaf spot, Leptosphaeria maculans (36 isolates) for blackleg, Hyaloperonospora parasitica for downy mildew (10 isolate), Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (20 isolates) for white or head rot, and Rhizoctonia solani (15 isolates) for Rhizoctonia head rot or foliar blight disease. Control strategies to minimize major diseases (black rot and black leg) are urgently required.
... During the same period, Zelus entered Spain [133,134], Italy [135,[154][155][156], Albania [127], France [157] and Portugal [158]. However, recently, LAB has entered Germany [159], Denmark and the UK via grape transport from Italy and Greece [160]. Today, LAB is considered well established in Europe [136] as well as in Italy [137] and the Iberian Peninsula [161][162][163]. ...
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This study collects data from the literature and updates our Zelus renardii Kolenati, 1856 (Leafhopper Assassin Bug, LAB) prey knowledge. The literature consists of ca. 170 entries encompassing the years 1856 to 2021. This reduviid originated in the Nearctic region, but has entered and acclimatised in many Mediterranean countries. Our quantitative predation experiments—in the laboratory on caged plants plus field or environmental observations—confirm that LAB prefers a selected array of prey. Laboratory predation tests on living targets (Hemiptera, Coleoptera, Diptera, and Hymenoptera) agree with the literature. Zelus renardii prefers comparatively large, highly mobile, and readily available prey. LAB preferences on available hemipterans targets suggest that Zelus renardii is a good inundative biocontrol agent for Xylella fastidiosa pauca ST53 infections. LAB also prey on other important olive pests, such as Bactrocera oleae. Therefore, Zelus renardii is a major integrated pest management (IPM) component to limit Xylella fastidiosa pandemics and other pest invasions.
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Based on the collected specimen and available photographs, we provide first records of the invasive assassin bug spe-cies Zelus (Diplodacus) renardii Kolenati, 1857 from Croatia and Montenegro. We also report a case of accidental introduction of a larva of Z. renardii to the Czech Republic. These records document further spreading of this species native in America in Medi-terranean Europe and possible ways of its spreading to the new areas.
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This study is prepared to provide an example for the utility of citizen science in faunistic research, which is becoming popular as a data source, especially for invasive alien species. With the globalization tendency of many living species by human impact, alien species rapidly spread far from their natural distribution range and become invasive in their newly settled ecosystems. Some of these invasive alien species become one of the most important problems for nature. This study focuses on distribution of following eight alien Hemiptera species that have previously been recorded from Turkey: Zelus renardii (Reduviidae), Corythucha arcuata and Corythucha ciliata (Tingidae), Leptoglossus occidentalis (Coreidae), Perillus bioculatus and Halyomorpha halys (Pentatomidae), Stictocephala bisonia (Membracidae) and Metcalfa pruinosa (Flatidae). New distributional and seasonality data for all these species are presented based on observations shared by citizen scientists in the websites Doğalhayat and iNaturalist. New provincial records for each species are given. As a result, it is apparent that citizen science is an important data source, supplies remarkable contribution for increasing the understanding on expansion of invasive alien species as well as providing clear picture on their distribution.
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The presence of Zelus renardii (Kolenati, 1856) (Hemiptera, Reduviidae, Harpactorinae), is documented for the first time in northern Italy (Liguria region) and in Sicily. This invasive species of nearctic origin was recorded for the first time in Europe in 2010 and in Italy in 2013. It is in rapid expansion in different areas of the world, especially in the Mediterranean basin and since it is extremely polyphagous its presence could represent a new threat for indigenous species and human activities.
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Se confirma la expansión por el sur de la península ibérica de varias especies de hemípteros alóctonos, registrando por primera vez en Andalucía a Metcalfa pruinosa, Stictocephala bisonia, Thaumastocoris peregrinus, Corythucha ciliata y Arocatus longiceps. Se aportan también nuevas citas de Belonochilus numenius, Zelus renardii, Pentacora sphacelata, Trichocorixa verticalis verticalis y Sophonia orientalis que amplían su área de distribución ibérica conocida.
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The distribution in Spain of Zelus renardii, an American invasive species, is analyzed after eight years of its introduction. New hypotheses are presented about its introduction in Europe and its forms of expansion. In Spain, the species seems to have limited its expansion to anthropogenic and urban areas of thermo-Mediterranean-type climate regions and his area of distribution is currently limited to the coastal regions of the Iberian east and south, from the city of Valencia in the north to Málaga in the south. The world distribution of the species is shown and discussed.
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This paper gives records of three assassin bug species (Heteroptera: Reduviiidae) new for the Balkan Peninsula.
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This study is based on material of the suborder Heteroptera collected and photographed from different provinces of Turkey between 2011 and 2015. In this study, 15 species belonging to 9 families are recorded from various provinces of Turkey. All of the species listed include remarks on their known distribution either in Turkey or in worldwide. Among them 12 species are new for the Heteroptera fauna of Turkey. In addition it is found out that Pasira marinadolina Putshkov & Moulet, 2003 could also have bicolored connexivum.
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The New World assassin bug genus Zelus Fabricius, 1803 (Insecta: Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Harpactorinae: Harpactorini) is revised based on more than 10,000 specimens. Seventy-one species are recognized and twenty-four described as new: Zelus aithaleos sp. n., Zelus amblycephalus sp. n., Zelus antiguensis sp. n., Zelus auralanus sp. n., Zelus bahiaensis sp. n., Zelus banksi sp. n., Zelus casii sp. n., Zelus championi sp. n., Zelus cordazulus sp. n., Zelus fuliginatus sp. n., Zelus gilboventris sp. n., Zelus gracilipes sp. n., Zelus grandoculus sp. n., Zelus kartaboides sp. n., Zelus lewisi sp. n., Zelus panamensis sp. n., Zelus paracephalus sp. n., Zelus rosulentus sp. n., Zelus russulumus sp. n., Zelus spatulosus sp. n., Zelus truxali sp. n., Zelus umbraculoides sp. n., Zelus umbraculus sp. n., and Zelus xouthos sp. n. Five species, Zelus araneiformis Haviland, 1931, Zelus gradarius Bergroth, 1905, Zelus modestus (Stål, 1862), Zelus subfasciatus Stål, 1860 and Zelus vittaticeps Stål, 1866, are removed from Zelus and placed incertae sedis within Harpactorini. Nine new synonyms are recognized (senior synonym in parentheses): Zelus atripes Champion, 1898 syn. nov. (=Zelus conjungens [Stål, 1860]), Zelus dispar Fabricius, 1803 syn. nov. (=Zelus pedestris Fabricius, 1803), Zelus formosus Haviland, 1931 syn. nov. (=Zelus laticornis Herrich-Schaeffer, 1853), Zelus obscuridorsis (Stål, 1860) syn. nov. (=Zelus pedestris), Zelus pallidinervus Haviland, 1931 syn. nov. (=Zelus kartabensis Haviland, 1931), Zelus personatus Berg, 1879 syn. nov. (=Zelus versicolor Herrich-Schaeffer, 1848), Zelus trimaculatus Champion, 1898 syn. nov. (=Zelus means Fabricius, 1803), Zelus trimaculicollis (Stål, 1855) syn. nov. (=Zelus means), and Zelus tristis Haviland, 1931 syn. nov. (=Zelus laticornis). Zelus conjungens (Stål, 1860) stat. rev. Is resurrected from junior synonymy with zealous armillatus (Lepeletier & Seville, 1825). Zelus ambulans Stål, 1862 stat. rev. and Zelus cognatus (Costa, 1862) stat. rev. are resurrected from synonymy with Zelus exsanguis Stål, 1862. Iquitozelus Bérenger syn. nov. is synonymized with Zelus and its only species transferred to Zelus, hence resulting in a new combination, Zelus couturieri (Bérenger, 2003) comb. nov. Lectotypes, paralectotypes or neotypes are designated for a number of species. Habitus images, illustrations of male genitalia, distribution maps and measurements are provided for nearly all species. The three previously recognized subgenera of Zelus are found to be based upon superficial characters and these divisions do not reflect natural groupings. Using sets of characters, especially those of the male genitalia, eleven species groups are proposed. It is also hypothesized that Zelus is closely related to three other New World genera: Atopozelus Elkins, Ischnoclopius Stål and an undescribed genus "Hartzelus" [manuscript name]. Zelus is endemic to the New World, occurring naturally in the Caribbean and all but one of the continental countries, with introductions to Pacific islands, Europe and Chile.
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The Nearctic assasin bug species Zelus reinardii was found for the first time in Attica, Greece, Europe. This species is a generalist predator which can contribute to the control of insect pests. This is also a known predator of several biological control agents of pests. Therefore, its naturalization in Greece is potentially problematic in economic settings since the insect may act as both an intraguild and a beneficial predator. The risky nature of importation in other areas (e.g. Hawaii) showed the possibility of these ecological roles.
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First report in Italy (Rome) of Zelus renardii, a species of American origin, already found in Europe only in Greece and Spain.
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The reduvid Zelus renardii from North America is recorded through photographs for the first time in Spain and the second time in Europe. The presence of nymphs in different stages, several adult specimens and predation of various types of insects is proved as well as its presence at two different locations.
Zelus renardii (Kolenati, 1856): a new assassin bug for France (Hemiptera, Reduviidae, Harpactorinae). The invasive reduviid Zelus renardii (Kolenati, 1856) is recorded for the first time in France (Var Department).