EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 01 - 2014 Num. article: 2014/014

First report of Pistosia dactyliferae in Southern France

In 2004, Pistosia dactyliferae (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) was identified for the first time in France in the municipality of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat (Alpes-Maritimes department) on different palm trees (Phoenix canariensis, Chamaerops humilis and Washingtonia sp.). P.;dactylifera is a palm borer which is thought to originate from India and whose biology is largely unknown. In the infested site, chemical control measures were applied, and in 2006, P. dactylifera was considered to be eradicated. However, in 2012 during the official surveillance programme for Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, P. dactyliferae was found again. The pest was observed in a botanical garden and several sites (total outbreak area of approximately 17 ha), all located in the municipality of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. The pest was observed on several species of palm trees: mainly Phoenix, Washingtonia, Chamaerops, Trachycarpus spp., and to a lesser extent on Calamus, Metroxylon, Rhapidophylum and Sabal spp. The origin of this introduction is unknown but it is suspected that the import of infested ornamental palms is the most likely pathway. Larvae of P. dactyliferae develop inside palm stipes and can eventually destroy the apical bud. Attacked palm trees show brown petioles, desiccated palms (with small leaf perforations on Phoenix), feeding damage on palm rachis and presence of sawdust. Larvae are often observed at the bases of the palms, and adults can be found at the palm bases or inside folded palms. Adults are small (5.5-6 mm long) brownish-red chrysomelids. Studies are being carried out in Southern France on the biology of this pest and on possible control methods, including the use of the entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana.

According to the literature, the following tentative distribution list for P. dactylifera could be gathered:
EPPO region: France (Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat). In their paper, Besse et al. (2012) mention that P. dactyliferae was found in 2006 in a nursery in Pistoia (Toscana region, Italy) but this could not confirmed by any other publication.
Asia: China (Yunnan), India (Bihar, Tamil Nadu), Taiwan, Thailand.


Besse S, Panchaud K, Gahlin S (2013) Palmiers, encore un nouveau ravageur. Phytoma no. 661, 14-17.

Drescher J, Martinez M (2005) Le coléoptère Pistosia dactyliferae menace les palmiers du sud de la France. PHM - Revue Horticole no. 468, 34–35 (abst.).

Panchaud K, Dusoulier F (2013) Observations de terrain et premiers éléments de biologie chez Pistosia dactyliferae (Maulik, 1919). Annales de la 3ème Conférence AFPP sur l’entretien des espaces verts, jardins, gazons, forêts, zones aquatiques et autres zones non agricoles (Toulouse, FR, 2013-10-15/17). http://draaf.aquitaine.agriculture.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/Annales_3e_Conf_ZNA_cle8ab3c9.pdf

Staines CL (2012) Catalogue of the hispines of the world (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Cassidinae). Tribe Gonophorini. http://entomology.si.edu/coleoptera/hispines/PDFs_2012updates/Gonophorini-2012revision.pdf