EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 09 - 2019 Num. article: 2019/185

An inventory of alien Chrysomelidae in European Russia

An inventory of alien Chrysomelidae which appeared in European Russia during the 20th and 21st century has recently been published. The following 9 alien species were recorded:

  • Two species native to the Mediterranean region: Chrysolina americana (pest of Rosmarinus and Lavandula), and Leptomona erythrocephala (feeding on Lotus corniculatus).
  • Two species native to Asia: Luperomorpha xanthodera (polyphagous pest of ornamentals) and Medythia nigrobilineata (pest of soybean).
  • Four species native to the Americas: Diabrotica virgifera (intercepted in 2011 at the border of Russia but not established), Epitrix hirtipennis (pest of tobacco), Leptinotarsa decemlineata (pest of potato), Zygogramma suturalis (introduced for the biocontrol of Ambrosiaartemisiifolia).
  • One species native to Afghanistan and Tajikistan: Phyllotreta reitteri (feeding on Lepidium latifolium).

For the following pests, the EPPO Secretariat has extracted below details about their situation in European Russia.

Chrysolina americana: in 2013, 13 specimens were found in Crimea on Rosmarinus officinalis. Until recently, the pest was thought to occur only in this area but another paper (Kravetz and Sergienko, 2018) reports the finding of 4 specimens in Sochi (Krasnodar region) on R. officinalis. However, it is considered that the establishment of this species in European Russia needs to be confirmed.

Diabrotica virgifera (EPPO A2 List): this pest was caught in 2011 in a pheromone trap in the Rostov region (Southern European Russia), near an international highway. As no further findings were made, it is considered that the pest did not establish in Russia. 

Epitrix hirtipennis: this pest was first recorded in 2011 in a tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plantation in Krasnodar city (Southern European Russia). In 2013, 2016 and 2018, the pest was found on the Black Sea coast (5 specimens in Tuapse and Sochi). It is supposed that the pest was introduced as larvae occurring in the soil attached to imported plants for planting.

Leptinotarsa decemlineata (EPPO A2 List): in 1958, the Colorado beetle reached the Western border of USSR. The pest is currently common across European Russia, even in the North (Leningrad region and Republic of Komi). Its range has expanded to most parts of Siberia and its Northern front passes through Karelia, Arkhangelsk region, Republic of Komi, Tumen region, Tomsk region and Krasnoyarsk territory. Since 2000, the pest also occurs in an isolated part of the Far East (Primorksy territory).

Luperomorpha xanthodera: this pest was first recorded in European Russia during the period 2016-2018, in Sochi (Krasnodar, Southern European Russia). As numerous specimens were observed from 2016 to 2018 in different localities, L. xanthodera is considered to be established in this area. Beetles were commonly observed on rose flowers and on ruderal vegetation from May to June. It is supposed that L. xanthodera was unintentionally introduced as larvae on roots of imported seedlings or as adults transported as cargo stowaways in airplanes. It is noted that Sochi is close to an international airport, and that a massive amount of planting material was imported during the landscaping of the city while preparing for the Olympic games in 2014.

Medythia nigrobilineata: in 2016, this pest was found for the first time in the Southern part of European Russia. A single female specimen was collected with a sweep net on wasteland with grasses in Sochi (Imereti resort). M. nigrobilineata is native to Northern China, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, South Korea, Eastern Siberia and the Russian Far East. Adult beetles feed on soybean (Glycine max) leaves and can damage immature pods. They can also feed on rice (Oryza spp.) and sugarcane (Saccharum officinalis) leaves. Larvae feed on soybean roots. As the specimen was caught near the international airport of Sochi, it is suspected that it was unintentionally introduced from Asia via the airport. It is not known if M. nigrobilineatahas established but it is considered that it could represent a serious threat to the Kranosdar region which is a soybean-production area.


Bieńkowski AO, Orlova-Bienkowskaja MJ(2018) Alien leaf beetles (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae) of European Russia and some general tendencies of leaf beetle invasions. PLoS ONE13(9), e0203561. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0203561

Kravetz AV, Sergienko VN (2018) [The first record of Chrysolina (Taeniochrysea) americana (Linnaeus, 1758) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in the Caucasus.] Caucasian Entomological Bulletin 14(2), 247-248 (in Russian).