EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 05 - 1999 Num. article: 1999/081

Heteronychus arator (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae): potential quarantine pest

A quarantine status for Heteronychus arator (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) was proposed by the NPPO of United Kingdom, after a commodity risk assessment was made on strawberries from South Africa and potatoes from New Zealand. The EPPO Panel on Phytosanitary Regulations has examined a full PRA on this pest and is now proposing to add it to the A1 list. The final decision will be taken by EPPO Council after consultation of EPPO member countries, but in the meantime it was felt useful to draw attention to this pest.
Heteronychus arator (black maize weevil) is a polyphagous pest which attacks grapevine, maize, many vegetables and ornamental crops, e.g.: Begonia spp., Brassica, Calendula spp., Curcurbita spp., Daucus carota, Fragaria ananassa, Lactuca sativa, Lycopersicon esculentum, Petunia spp., Phlox spp., Pisum sativum, Rheum rhabarbarum, Solanum tuberosum, Vitis vinifera, Zea mays, many grasses and weeds. On potatoes, the adults burrow into the tubers. On maize, adults feed into the stems of maize plants, attacked plants wilt, collapse and subsequently die. In pastures, larvae can cause severe damage by feeding on roots. H. arator occurs in: Australia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, New Zealand, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia.


NPPO of United Kingdom, EPPO Secretariat, 1991-01.