EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 05 - 2012 Num. article: 2012/090

First report of Aromia bungii in Germany: addition to the EPPO Alert List

The NPPO of Germany recently informed the EPPO Secretariat of the first record of Aromia bungii (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) on its territory. In July 2011, a single male specimen of A. bungii was found on an old damson plum tree (Prunus domestica subsp. insititia) in a private garden near Kolbermoor in the south of Bayern. Exit holes were observed on this plum tree and the garden owners also mentioned that they had observed two other specimens (A. bungii adults are large black cerambycids with a distinctively red pronotum). Considering that the life cycle of A. bungii may take 2 to 3 years, it was estimated that A. bungii was introduced into this garden in 2008 or 2009. This finding was made by scientists unrelated to the NPPO and was not brought immediately to the attention of the German NPPO. Therefore, the identity of the pest could only be confirmed officially in April 2012. The origin of this infestation is currently unknown but tracing-back studies are on-going. Quarantine measures have been imposed on the infested site and an intensive survey is being carried out. Official eradication measures are envisaged.
The pest status of Aromia bungii in Germany is officially declared as: Transient, only at one location, under eradication.

Aromia bungii (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) – Redneck longhorned beetle
Why: In 2011, the presence of Aromia bungii was recorded for the first time in one location in Germany. Because A. bungii is a fruit tree pest originating from Asia which was previously not known to occur in the EPPO region, the NPPO of Germany and the EPPO Panel on Phytosanitary Measures suggested its addition to the EPPO Alert List.

Where: A. bungii is thought to originate from the temperate regions of China.
EPPO region: Germany (few specimens observed in 2011 in a private garden in Bayern, under eradication). In 2008, an interception of A. bungii had been reported by the United Kingdom. Three beetles were discovered among wooden pallets in a warehouse in Bristol but the insect did not establish (no further specimens or signs of presence were found).
Asia: China (present throughout China but more prevalent in the central and northern provinces), Korea (Republic of), Korea (Peoples’ Democratic Republic of), Mongolia, Taiwan, Vietnam. Details on its distribution in Asia are generally lacking, therefore this distribution is only preliminary.
North America: Absent, intercepted only. In July 2008, A. bungii was intercepted in a manufacturing plant, importing products from China and Taiwan, located at the port of Seattle (Washington state, US) in July 2008.

On which plants: In China, the main host plants are Prunus species (Rosaceae), in particular peach (Prunus persica) and apricot (P. armeniaca), and to a lesser extent plum (P. domestica) and cherry (P. avium). The following tree species are also reported to be host plants of A. bungii but without any indication of the extent and severity of damage: Azadirachta indica (Meliaceae), Bambusa textilis (Poaceae), Diospyros virginiana (Ebenaceae), Olea europea (olive - Oleaceae), Populus alba (Salicaceae), Pterocarya stenoptera (Juglandaceae), Punica granatum (pomegranate - Lythraceae), Schima superba (Theaceae).

Damage: Larvae of A. bungii bore galleries (17-22 cm long) in the trunk and larger lateral branches, leading to loss of fruit production and weakening of the trees. Exit holes and frass are signs of the presence of the pest. Larvae infest the subcortical area beneath the bark and the sapwood (less commonly the heartwood). A. bungii attacks healthy to slightly stressed trees. Adults are black cerambycids (approximately 40 mm long) with glossy elytra and a distinctively red pronotum (although some forms may be completely black).
Pictures can be viewed on the Internet:
Data on the biology of A. bungii is generally lacking. In Northern China, it is reported that one generation may take 2 to 3 years, the insect overwintering at various larval stages inside galleries. Larvae start feeding in early or mid-April with a peak of feeding activity from May to June. Pupation takes place at the end of June and adults emerge from late June until early August. Eggs are laid in bark crevices on the trunk and main branches at the beginning of July and hatch after 8-9 days (mid-July). Adults emit a particular odour to keep natural enemies at bay when they are disturbed.

Dissemination: No data is available on the natural spread of A. bungii, but as in the case for the other cerambycids (e.g. Anoplophora spp.) it is considered that adults can only fly over rather short distances. The two incidents reported from the United Kingdom and USA strongly suggested that imports of goods from Asia could transport the pest to other continents. The most likely pathways are suspected to be wood packaging material (because Populus alba is reported to be a host plant) and trade of nursery plants (ornamentals, fruit tree species).

Pathway: Plants for planting, wood, wood packaging material from countries where A. bungii occurs.

Possible risks: Prunus species are widely grown across the EPPO region for ornamental purposes and fruit production, and are of major economic importance. In China, A. bungii is considered to be a common pest of peach and apricot. The fact that it may also attack other important trees cultivated for fruit (e.g. olive, pomegranate) or wood production (e.g. Populus alba) adds to the risk. Data is lacking on the possible control methods against the pest, but as with control methods against other tree borers, they are most likely to be difficult to apply in practice. In the Chinese literature, there are reports of trials using nematodes (e.g. Steinernema carpocapsae, S. feltiae) as biocontrol agents against A. bungii, but it is not known how extensively and effectively these treatments can be used in the field. Considering the length of the biological cycle and the hidden behaviour of larvae, A. bungii is difficult to detect on infested plants or wood. An Express-PRA was conducted in Germany and concluded that despite a general lack of information about A. bungii, this pest probably has the potential to establish in most parts of the EPPO region and presents a high risk.

EPPO RS 2012/090
Panel review date: -
Entry date 2012-05


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