Emerging Pest Alert

New Zealand hitchhiker pest, Nysius huttoni, found in Europe

Scientific Name: Nysius huttoni

Describer: White

Common Name: wheat bug

Title: New Zealand hitchhiker pest, Nysius huttoni, found in Europe


Significance: Previously undetected outside of New Zealand, Nysius huttoni has been found in the Southwest area of the Netherlands and the adjoining Northwestern area of Belgium. Nysius huttoni is a polyphagous sap-feeding insect that can cause serious damage to wheat and plants in the Brassicaceae family.

Pathways: Hitchhiker. Has been found on apple fruit packages exported from New Zealand.

Hosts: Brassica spp., Medicago sativa (alfalfa), Trifolium dubiumT. pratenseT. repens (clovers), and Poaceae such as: Avena sativa (oat), BromusHordeum sativum(barley), LoliumSecale cereale (rye), Triticum aestivum (wheat). The following weeds have been reported as hosts: Anagallis arvensisCalandrinia caulescensCapsella bursa-pastorisCassinia leptophylaChenopodium albumCoronopus didymusHieraciumPolygonum aviculareRumex acetosellaSenecio inaequidensSilene gallicaSoliva sessilisSpergularia rubra, and Stellaria media. It is also suggested that the presence of mosses (e.g. CeratodonSphagnumPolytrichum spp.) may be crucial for the overwintering period.


For more details please visit the full report published by the EPPO Reporting Service 2006, No. 02, p. 6. Available online: http://archives.eppo.org/EPPOReporting/2006/Rse-0602.pdf

References taken from EPPO Report:

Aukema B, Bruers JM, Viskens G. 2005. A New Zealand endemic Nysius established in The Netherlands and Belgium (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae). Belgian Journal of Entomology 7, 37-43.

Bejakovich D, Pearson WD, O’Donnell MR. 1998. Nationwide survey of pests and diseases of cereal and grass seed crops in New Zealand. 1. Arthropods and molluscs. Paper presented at the 51st Conference of the New Zealand Plant Protection Society. Available on-line: http://www.hortnet.co.nz 

Every D, Farrell JA, Stufkens MW, Wallace AR. 1998. Wheat cultivar susceptibility to grain damage by the New Zealand wheat bug, Nysius huttoni, and cultivar susceptibility to the effects of bug proteinase on baking quality. Journals of Cereal Science 27(1), 37-46. (Abstact).

He XZ, Wang Q. 1999. Laboratory assessment of damage to swede, Brassica napus rapifera, by wheat bug Nysius huttoni. Paper presented at the 52nd Conference of the New Zealand Plant Protection Society. Available on-line: http://www.hortnet.co.nz