Pest categorisation of Phlyctinus callosus
The EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Phlyctinus callosus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) for the EU territory. This species is not included in EU Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/2072. P. callosus is a polyphagous pest native to South Africa which has spread to Australia and New Zealand, Reunion and St Helena. Immature development takes place in the soil where larvae feed on the roots of a variety of plants including grasses, root vegetables and herbaceous plants; adults are noted as significant pests of apples, nectarines and grapes, feeding on foliage and the surface of fruit causing scarring. Soft fruits such as strawberries and blueberries can also be damaged by adult feeding. P. callosus has been intercepted in Europe on apples and peaches from South Africa. Table grapes could also provide a pathway for entry to the EU. Rooted plants for planting could also provide a potential pathway. Hosts are grown widely across the EU in areas with climates comparable to those in parts of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia where the pest is established suggesting that conditions in the EU are suitable for the establishment of P. callosus. If introduced into the EU, natural spread would be limited because adults cannot fly and must disperse by walking. However, the movement of host plants for planting within the EU could spread juvenile stages much faster and adults could spread with fruits. The prohibition of soil or growing media from third countries should prevent the entry of P. callosus larvae and pupae. Other phytosanitary measures are available to inhibit the entry of P. callosus. P. callosus satisfies the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for it to be regarded as a potential Union quarantine pest.
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