EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 03 - 2015 Num. article: 2015/046

Massicus raddei (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae – oak longhorn beetle): addition to the EPPO Alert List

Why: the addition of Massicus raddei (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) to the EPPO Alert List was suggested by the NPPO of the United Kingdom. M. raddei was identified during the horizon scanning of literature which has been carried out for the UK Pest Risk Register, as a serious pest of oak trees in China.

Where: M. raddei occurs only in Asia.
EPPO region: Russia (Far East).
Asia: China (Anhui, Fujian, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Neimenggu, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Zhejiang), Japan (Honshu, Shikoku), Korea (Dem. People’s Republic of), Korea (Republic of), Russia (Far East), Taiwan, Vietnam.

On which plants: M. raddei mainly attacks oaks (Quercus spp.) and chestnuts (Castanea spp.). In the literature, the following species are recorded as host plants: Castanea crenata, C. mollissima, Castanea sativa, Quercus acuta, Q. acutissima, Q. aliena, Q. dentata, Q. liaotungensis, Q. mongolica, Q. serrata, Q. variabilis. Other tree species such as Castanopsis cuspidata, Castanopsis cuspidata var. sieboldii, Morus sp. and Paulownia sp. are also mentioned.

Damage: M. raddei is a wood borer. Damage is essentially caused by its larvae which make galleries inside tree trunks. Studies conducted in China have showed that adults of M. raddei can feed on sap oozing from the wounds they themselves have inflicted to trunks of Q. mongolica. According to the literature, infested trees show crown dieback but it is unclear whether tree mortality has been observed or not. Nevertheless, it is stated that during the last decades, outbreaks of M. raddei have been observed in Northeastern China (in particular in Jilin, Inner Mongolia (Neimenggu, Liaoning) on Q. mongolica and Q. liaotungensis causing ecological and economic losses. In these infested oak forests, it is estimated that 45% of the trees were attacked. Studies on the distribution pattern of M. raddei in the trunk of Q. liaotungensis have showed that larvae were rarely found in trees with a trunk diameter of less than 9 cm (and with a bark thickness < 0.5 cm), therefore suggesting that young trees are not attractive to the beetle. In the Chinese province of Liaoning, field studies concluded that 3 years were necessary for M. raddei to complete one generation. Six larval instars were observed with a total duration of more than 1021 days. During the first year, larvae overwinter as 2nd and 3rd larval stages, in the second year as 4th and 5th instars, and during the third winter all larvae enter the 6th instar (fully grown larvae). The life cycle appears to be synchronous with mass adult emergence every 3 years.
Adults are large brownish longhorn beetles (approximately 35 to 52 mm long) with whitish larvae (fully grown larvae are approximately 65 mm long). Pictures can be viewed on the Internet:

Dissemination: there is no data on the natural spread of the insect but adults can fly. Over long distances, as is the case for other wood borers, M. raddei can be transported on wood and wood products, including wood packaging material.

Pathway: Plants for planting (trees above a certain size?), wood, wood products, packaging wood material, hitchhiking?

Possible risks: Oak and chestnut trees are widely planted in the EPPO region for forestry, and amenity purposes, as well as for fruit production in the case of C. sativa. In China, M. raddei is considered to be a pest of oaks, mainly Q. liaotungensis and Q. mongolicus. However, there is no data on the susceptibility of oak species (e.g. Q. ilex, Q. petraea, Q. robur, Q. suber) present in the Euro-Mediterranean region to this pest. Data is also generally lacking on the severity of damage caused by M. raddei (i.e. tree mortality) and its economic impact. As for other wood borers, control is rendered difficult by the hidden mode of life of the larval and pupal stages. In China, research is being carried out on the possible use of biocontrol agents (e.g. Dastarcus helophoroides (Coleoptera: Bothrideridae), Sclerodermus pupariae (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae) or Cerchysiella raddei (Hymenoptera:  Encyrtidae)). Although there are many uncertainties on the biology, host range, and economic impact of M. raddei, the recent experience with the introductions of wood borers (e.g. Anoplophora spp., Aromia bungii) from Asia into the EPPO region advocates for a precautionary approach. It can be noted that although M. raddei does not occur in the USA, it has been included in early detection programmes for alien forestry pests at least in some states.

EPPO RS 2015/046
Panel review date -
Entry date 2015-03


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