Update on the situation of Megaplatypus mutatus in Italy
In Italy, Megaplatypus mutatus* (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Platypodinae – EPPO A2 List) was first found in 2000 near Caserta (Campania region) infesting a stand of Populus canadensis. In the following years, further infestations were noticed in the province of Caserta mainly on Corylus avellana (hazelnut), but also on Prunus cerasus (cherry), Pyrus communis (pear) and Malus domestica (apple). It is suspected that this pest has been introduced via imports of wood material (EPPO RS 2004/061, 2004/166).
The NPPO of Italy recently informed the EPPO Secretariat that in Campania region, the pest now occurs sporadically in all provinces, and that C. avellana (hazelnut) and Diospyros kaki (kaki) are the main fruit crops where significant attacks have been recorded. It has been observed that M. mutatus infests trees with a trunk diameter greater than 15 cm, i.e. plants that are in full production. In addition to Campania, M. mutatus has also been found in Molise (in 2013) and in Lazio (in 2016) regions, in areas that are bordering Campania.
The situation of Megaplatypus mutatus in Italy can be described as follows: Present, only in some areas (Campania and neighbouring areas in Molise and Lazio).
* Megaplatypus mutatus originates from South America, its main host is poplar (Populus spp.), but it can also complete its life cycle on Aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut), Corylus avellana (hazelnut), Diospyros kaki (kaki), Juglans regia (walnut), Malus domestica (apple) and Pyrus communis (pear) trees. Unlike many ambrosia beetles. M. mutatus is able to attack standing and vigorous trees.
NPPO of Italy (2020-10).
- Anonymous (2014) Servizio Fitosanitario Regionale. Toscana regione. Relazione tecnica e analisi di previsione sulla diffusione di malattie da quarantena in ambito regionale e locale, 48 pp. http://cespevi.it/pdf/Rischio_diffusione_organismi_quarantena.pdf
- Servizio Fitosanitario Regionale. Platipo – Megaplatypus mutatus. http://www.agricoltura.regione.lazio.it/sfr/57/Organismi%20nocivi%20NON%20DA%20QUARANTENA/111/PlatipoMegaplatypus-mutatus.html