Zelus renardii Roaming in Southern Italy
Dipartimento di Scienze del Suolo, della Pianta e degli Alimenti, University of Bari Aldo Moro, 70126 Bari, Italy
Faculty of Sciences of Tunis, University of Tunis El-Manar, Rommana, Tunis 1068, Tunisia
Laboratory of Plant Protection, INRAT—National Institute of Agronomic Research of Tunisia, Carthage University, Ariana 2049, Tunisia
Laboratory of Phytopathology, Department of Marine Science and Applied Biology, University of Alicante, San Vicente del Raspeig, 03690 Alicante, Spain
CIHEAM—Centre International de Hautes Etudes Agronomiques Méditerranéennes, Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, 70010 Valenzano, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Lukasz L. Stelinski and Jiří Skuhrovec
Received: 26 October 2021
Revised: 30 November 2021
Accepted: 30 January 2022
Published: 31 January 2022
The leafhopper assassin bug Zelus renardii (Hemiptera: Reduviidae) first entered Europe in 2012 and has since acclimatised. Z. renardii is now a common insect predator in agroecosystems and urban and peri-urban areas. We performed a metadata analysis of 165 years of Z. renardii literature. Moreover, we provide laboratory tests of Z. renardii predation. The latter indicates Z. renardii interplay with relevant insect targets, such as Philaenus spumarius, Neophilaenuscampestris, Bactrocera oleae, Kermes vermilio, Nidularia pulvinata, Harmonia axyridis, Apis mellifera, Aleurocanthus spiniferus, Aleurothrixus floccosus, Macrohomotoma gladiata, Drosophila suzukii, Drosophila melanogaster, Megaselia scalaris, Pseudococcidae, Miridae, and Issidae. Furthermore, predation on Aphrophoridae and other olive pests brands Z. renardii as a good mass-rearing candidate for inundative biocontrol programs of Xylella fastidiosa pauca ST53 infections and could also reduce damage caused by other olive pests. Overall, this reduviid is harmless to humans and beneficial insects.