EPPO Platform
on PRAs

Pest categorisation of Urocerus albicornis


The EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Urocerus albicornis (Hymenoptera: Siricidae), the black horntail sawfly, for the territory of the EU. U. albicornis is not listed in Annex II of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072. U. albicornis occurs throughout Canada and continental USA and has established in northern Spain, and probably in southern France (based on two specimens caught in two sites) and Japan (based on one individual caught in one site). It attacks mostly stumps or fallen or weakened trees of at least 20 species of Pinaceae (Abies spp., Larix spp., Picea spp., Pinus spp., Pseudotsuga menziesiiTsuga spp.) and of Cupressaceae (Thuja plicata). In Spain, the females fly between May and September with a peak in August and September. The eggs are deposited into the sapwood, together with mucus containing a venom and a white-rot wood-decay basidiomycete, either Amylostereum chailletii or A. areolatum. Each fungus is symbiotic with the insect. The larvae feed on wood infected by the fungus. All immature stages live in the host sapwood. In British Columbia, the lifecycle of the pest lasts 2 years but has not been fully characterised elsewhere. The wood of the host trees is impacted by decay due to the fungus, and structurally impaired by the larval galleries. U. albicornis can be carried in conifer wood, solid wood packaging material (SWPM) or plants for planting. Wood from North America is regulated by 2019/2072 (Annex VII) while SWPM is managed according to ISPM 15. The pathway plants for planting is largely closed by prohibition, with the exception of Thuja spp. Climatic conditions in several EU member states are conducive for establishment and the main host plants are widespread in those areas. Further spread and introduction of U. albicornis is likely to decrease the quality of host wood and may influence forest diversity by selectively affecting conifers. Phytosanitary measures are available to reduce the likelihood of additional entry and further spread, and there is a potential for biological control. Despite uncertainty regarding potential damage, U. albicornis satisfies all the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for it to be regarded as a potential Union quarantine pest.


  • Urocerus albicornis


  • Abies amabilis
  • Abies balsamea
  • Abies fraseri
  • Abies grandis
  • Abies lasiocarpa
  • Abies procera
  • Larix kaempferi
  • Larix laricina
  • Larix occidentalis
  • Picea engelmannii
  • Picea glauca
  • Picea mariana
  • Picea sitchensis
  • Pinus banksiana
  • Pinus contorta
  • Pinus pinaster
  • Pinus radiata
  • Pinus resinosa
  • Pinus strobus
  • Pinus sylvestris
  • Pseudotsuga menziesii
  • Thuja plicata
  • Tsuga
  • Tsuga canadensis
  • Tsuga heterophylla


Type File Size
Pest Risk Analysis Link to file

PRA Area

  • EU
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
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  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
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  • Slovenia
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  • Sweden