The project shall assess the following objectives:
- Elaborating morphological and/or molecular diagnostic tests for Epitrix cucumeris (Harris), Epitrix similaris (Gentner), Epitrix subcrinita (LeConte) and Epitrix tuberis (Gentner) and for native Epitrix spp. and related flea beetle species (e.g. Psylliodes and Phyllotreta spp.).
- With regard to the epidemiology/phytosanitary status, mapping the current distribution of (indigenous) Epitrix spp. and related flea beetle species listed under the previous objective.
- Performing a scientific study on the biology of the Epitrix spp. present in Belgium (life cycles, number of generations/year,...), taking the Belgian conditions into account.
- Performing a desktop study on the likelihood of entry and establishment potential of the Epitrix spp. absent from Belgium.
- Performing an impact study related to KB 5/12/2004, i.e. formulating recommendations pro or contra the addition of Epitrix spp. to the list of harmful organisms implying a compensation to potato producers for losses related to mandatory control measures.
- Formulating recommendations concerning management measures and strategies for Epitrix spp. of plant health concern.