Situation of Contarinia pseudotsugae in Belgium
The NPPO of Belgium recently provided the EPPO Secretariat with more details about the suspected occurrence of Contarinia pseudotsugae (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae – EPPO Alert List) on its territory (see EPPO RS 2016/007 and RS 2016/008). The first alert was given in 2015-10-27 when a sample, collected by a phytosanitary inspector in September 2015 in a nursery growing mainly forest tree material, was found to be infested by this new needle midge. The other findings were made in forestry stands by the regional forestry services, and l'Observatoire wallon de la Santé des forêts (Wallonia Public Service). As only larvae could be collected, the identity of the pest remains to be confirmed on adult specimens. For the moment and on the basis of the symptoms observed, the pest is thought to be C. pseudotsugae. In the Walloon region, a network of selected observation points is used for monitoring tree health and samples collected via this network between 2015-10-26 and 2015-11-27 led to the detection of the pest in all visited sites (provinces of Namur, Liège and Luxemburg). Symptoms observed corresponded to brown discolorations of the needles and needle losses at the end of the branches on a majority of Pseudotsuga menziesii plants in the nursery and of P. menziesii trees in the forest sites monitored. A short PRA (Quick Scan PRA) was carried out and validated on 2015-11-27. No official phytosanitary measures were taken given the wide distribution of the pest, and its eradication is not considered feasible. Further survey activities will be carried out by the regional forestry authorities in the framework of general forest health campaigns.
The pest status of Contarinia pseudotsugae (if confirmed) in Belgium is officially declared as: Present, under surveillance. Infestation confirmed in the area monitored at present (Ardennes, Famenne, Lorraine).
NPPO of Belgium (2015-12).