Agrilus planipennis in Russia approaching the borders of the European Union and Kazakhstan
In European Russia, recent reports have shown that Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae – EPPO A2 List) continues to spread. The Northwestern limit of the core invaded range (i.e. around the Moscow region) corresponds approximately to the city of Tver (EPPO RS 2021/103), although an isolated outbreak has recently been found in Saint-Petersburg (EPPO RS 2021/009).
Other surveys have been conducted in European Russia in 2019-2020 and confirmed the presence of A. planipennis outside its core invaded range:
- towards the northwest in Saint-Petersburg, thus approaching the European Union territory.
- towards the south in the Lower Volga Basin, in Volgograd city and Astrakhan province, thus approaching Kazakhstan.
In Saint-Petersburg city, A. planipennis was found in several locations (Martyshkino, Lomonosov, Staryi Peterhof), mainly on Fraxinus pennsylvanica and on a few F. excelsior. Affected trees showed crown dieback, larval galleries and exit holes. In Volgograd city, A. planipennis was found on F. pennsylvanica planted along the roads. Dead and declining trees were observed, as well as signs of the insect. In Astrakhan province, a dead specimen of A. planipennis was found in the Nikolskoe village in one F. pennsylvanica tree which presented larval galleries and exit holes. It is noted that the infested sites in Saint-Petersburg and in the Lower Volga Basin are distant from the core invaded range by 470 and 370 km, respectively. During these surveys, A. planipennis was not found in the regions along the Middle Volga Basin (Mari El, Chuvash and Tatarstan republics, Nizhny Novgorod, Samara and Saratov provinces).
Finally, observations were made in a forest stand of F. excelsior (Kokinskij Forest) in the Moscow province. This forest stand (10.6 ha) was composed of several thousand F. excelsior trees, approximately 60 years old. Observations confirmed that almost all trees were severely damaged by A. planipennis. Inspections of several hundred trees confirmed that all of them presented larval galleries and exit holes of A. planipennis. It was also observed that F. pennsylvanica trees planted along a nearby roadside were severely damaged by the insect. These observations confirm that under certain conditions, A. planipennis can seriously damage F. excelsior.
In European Russia, A. planipennis is now known to occur in the following 18 provinces: Astrakhan, Belgorod, Bryansk, Kaluga, Kursk, Lipetsk, Moscow, Orel, Ryazan, Smolensk, St. Petersburg, Tambov, Tula, Tver, Vladimir, Volgograd, Voronezh, and Yaroslavl.
Volkovitsh MG, Bieńkowski AO, Orlova-Bienkowskaja MJ (2021) Emerald ash borer approaches the borders of the European Union and Kazakhstan and is confirmed to infest European ash. Forests 12, 691. https://doi.org/10.3390/f12060691