First report of Ophraella communa in Slovenia
The NPPO of Slovenia recently informed the EPPO Secretariat of the first record of Ophraella communa (Coleoptera: Galerucinae) on its territory. The first specimens had been noticed by a maize grower in the municipality of Nova Gorica (in Kromberk). 50 beetles and larvae were found on the weed Ambrosia artemisiifolia (EPPO List of Invasive Alien Plants) growing in a 0.3 ha maize field. In August 2017, the identity of the insect was confirmed by the official laboratory of the Regional Agriculture and Forestry Institute. Other colonies of
O. communa were then found in several other locations in Western Slovenia. The most likely origin of O. communa in Slovenia is natural spread from Italy where the insect has also been recorded. No phytosanitary measures will be taken against O. communa.
The pest status of Ophraella communa in Slovenia is officially declared as: Present, only in some areas.
EPPO note: O. communa has been considered as a potential biological control agent against the weed A. artemisiifolia for introduction into Australia and the species is successfully used as a biological control agent in China and in other countries. Although it has not yet been approved for release,
O. communa may represent a potential biological control agent for A. artemisiifolia in Europe.
NPPO of Slovenia (2018-04).