Otiorhynchus meridionalis found in Germany
The NPPO of Germany recently informed the EPPO Secretariat of the occurrence of Otiorhynchus meridionalis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Baden-Württemberg. In May 2008, feeding symptoms were observed on the leaves of Cotoneaster, Euonymus, Forsythia and other species growing in a neglected garden. Adults of O. meridionalis were considered to be the cause of this severe damage. O. meridionalis beetles were found in large numbers, in association with other species of Otiorhynchus (O. sulcatus, O. crataegi, and O. dieckmanni). It was assumed that O. meridionalis had already been present for several years on this site, probably at low levels which were difficult to detect. According to scientific literature, only isolated records had been made previously in Germany (1 on Ligustrum sp. in the south-west in 1991 and isolated records in the north in 1999).
O. meridionalis is a European species which mainly occurs around the Mediterranean Basin. It has been reported in France (south), Spain (northeast), North Africa (without further details), and Italy (Abruzzo, Piemonte, Liguria, and Sicilia). It has been introduced into the USA where it was first found in California in 1931 on Ligustrum (privet). It is now reported from several other states (Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Washington). O. meridionalis has been reported on different hosts, including horticultural crops such as Fragaria ananassa (strawberry), Lactuca sativa (lettuce), Malus domestica (apple), Olea europea (olive) or ornamental shrubs (e.g. Forsythia, Jasminum, Ligustrum, Syringa). According to the literature, O. meridionalis is not a major pest, although it has occasionally been reported as a pest of strawberry in southern France and of apple trees in organic orchards in Washington State (US).
NPPO of Germany, 2008-10.
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