Pest categorisation of the Gonipterus scutellatus species complex
The Panel on Plant health performed a pest categorisation of the Australian Eucalyptus snout-beetle Gonipterus scutellatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), for the EU. G. scutellatus should be referred as the G. scutellatus species complex because it includes several cryptic species. A complete nomenclature of the species present in the EU is still pending. It is a quarantine pest listed in Annex IIB of Council Directive 2000/29/EC. Protected zones are in place in Greece and Portugal (Azores). In the EU, it has been found in Italy, France, Spain and Portugal. It only consumes Eucalyptus species leaves. The main pathways of spread are the trade of Eucalyptus timber, hitchhiking in various commodities, trade of apple fruit as well as of plants for planting or plant parts. Spread by flight is also possible. The climate of the EU protected zones is similar to that of the Member States (MS) where the G. scutellatus complex is established, and the pest's main host plants are present. The damaged trees suffer die-back and the development of epicormics shoots. Severe attacks may provoke massive amounts of tree death. Biological control by using the egg parasitoid wasp Anaphes nitens is the most effective control measure. Some species within the G. scutellatus complex are not yet present in the EU (including G. scutellatussensu stricto) and might therefore be considered as potential union quarantine pests for the EU territory. At least two species within the G. scutellatus complex (most likely G. platensis and Gonipterus species no. 2) meet the criteria assessed by EFSA for consideration as potential protected zone quarantine pests for the territory of the protected zones: Greece and Portugal (Azores). The criteria for considering the G. scutellatus complex as a potential regulated non-quarantine pest for the EU are not met since plants for planting are not the main pathway.
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