First report of Agrilus planipennis in Ukraine and update for European Russia
In a draft paper which is still under review, Orlova-Bienkowskaja et al. (2019) report the first occurrence of Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae – EPPO A2 List) in Ukraine and provide an update of the situation in European Russia with a map of the current pest range in Europe. A survey of ash (Fraxinus spp.) trees was conducted from 2017 to 2019 in 25 localities of European Russia, Ukraine and Belarus to verify the possible presence of A. planipennis. In most localities, plantations of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) in cities, along roads and motorways, as well as in field shelter belts were inspected for the presence of D-shaped exit holes, larval galleries, larvae and adults of A. planipennis.
In June 2019, a survey was conducted in the Starokozjij Forest (Markovka district, Lugansk region) and in a field shelter belt located in its vicinity. 250 ash trees were inspected and 3 F. pennsylvanica trees were found to be infested by A. planipennis. These trees (7-10 cm diameter) were located at the edge of the forest and had smaller leaves, fewer seeds and dying upper branches. This is the first time that A. planipennis is reported from Ukraine.
The situation of A. planipennis in Ukraine can be described as follows: Present, only in some areas (first found in 2019 on a small number of trees in the Lugansk region).
In European Russia, A. planipennis was first found in the region of Moscow in 2003 (EPPO RS 2007/067, 2017/131). Surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019 have shown that A. planipennis currently occurs in 14 regions: Bryansk, Kaluga, Lipetsk, Moscow, Orel, Ryazan, Smolensk, Tambov, Tula, Tver, Vladimir, Volgograd, Voronezh and Yaroslavl. Compared with earlier studies, the pest has mainly spread towards the South, reaching the region of Volgograd (900 km away from Moscow), but the Western border of the range has not significantly changed during the last five years. The Westernmost localities are Semirechje (56 km from the border with Belarus) and Smolensk (both in Smolensk region). The Northernmost infested locality is Yaroslavl and this Northern front is almost the same as in 2013. For the moment, it is not known whether A. planipennis has reached its potential Northern border, as Yaroslavl is located at latitude 57.63’N, compared to 47.31’N in North America and 49.42’N in Asia.
A survey was also conducted in the large broad-leaved forest of Tulskie Zaseki (65 000 ha) in Tula region, to study the susceptibility of F. excelsior (European ash species) in the centre of the current pest range in European Russia. More than 500 F. excelsior trees were inspected, both on the edges and deep inside the forest, but no signs of infestation could be found. It is noted that in the same region, most of the F. pennsylvanica (American ash species) trees which were commonly planted in the cities of Tula and Shchekino have been destroyed by A. planipennis. In addition, all cases of infestation of F. excelsior previously reported in Russia, correspond to trees that are near infested plantations of F. pennsylvanica. These observations suggest that F. excelsior may be more resistant to the pest than F. pennsylvanica, at least in natural forest stands.
The situation of A. planipennis in Russia can be described as follows: Present, only in some areas (native to the Far East, introduced in 14 regions of Southern and Central European Russia).
In 2018, a survey was conducted in the Eastern part of Belarus, in the cities of Mogilev, Orsha and Vitebsk where F. pennsylvanica and F. excelsior are common, but A. planipennis was not found.
The situation of A. planipennis in Belarus can be described as follows: Absent.
Orlova-Bienkowskaja MJ, Drogvalenko AN, Zabaluev IA, Sazhnev AS, Peregudova HY, Mazurov SG, Komarov EV, Andrzej O, Bieńkowski AO (2019) Bad and good news for ash trees in Europe: alien pest Agrilus planipennis has spread to the Ukraine and the south of European Russia, but does not kill Fraxinus excelsior in the forests. BioRxiv (unpublished pre-print). doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/689240