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Sugar cane aphids have potential to hit European maize

Spanish researchers have detected the first appearance of yellow sugar cane aphids (Sipha flava) in continental Europe. The findings come from Spanish Autonomous University of Barcelona, the Centre for Ecological Research and Forestry Applications, the CREAF, and the Spanish University of Leon. They warn that the aphids have the potential to threaten rice and maize in Europe. The species was discovered in northern Spain’s Catalonia region, and the researchers say that the aphids had “probably arrived from Africa”. The aphids are native to North America and have become a major pest on South American cane crops. The researchers believe that the pest has reached Spain as a result of sugar cane expansion in northern Africa. They call for a distribution map of the species in Europe in order to “evaluate its potential pest behaviour, implementing the principle of precaution".

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