Pest categorisation of Anthonomus signatus
The Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of the strawberry bud weevil, Anthonomus signatus Say, (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), for the EU. A. signatus is a well-defined and distinguishable species, recognised as a pest of strawberry (Fragaria) fruit production in eastern North America where it is also a pest of Rubus. There are reports of A. signatus associated with non-rosaceous plants such as Mentha, Nepeta, Rhododendron and Solidago although whether such plants are true hosts is uncertain. This pest categorisation focuses on Fragaria and Rubus as hosts. Anthonomus signatus is not known to occur in the EU. It is listed in Annex IIAI of Council Directive 2000/29/EC. The international trade in Fragaria and Rubus plants for planting provides a potential pathway to introduce A. signatus from North America. Considering climatic similarities between North America and the EU, the thermal biology of A. signatus and host distribution in the EU, A. signatus has the potential to establish within the EU. There would be one generation per year, as in North America. As a pest of field grown Fragaria and Rubus, A. signatus would not be expected to establish in EU glasshouses. In North America, adults clip developing buds, preventing fruit development and reducing yield. Losses are variable and depend on the cultivars attacked. Severe crop losses have been reported. However, some Fragaria cultivars can compensate the loss of buds, e.g. by increasing the weight of fruits developing on remaining buds. Phytosanitary measures are available to reduce the likelihood of introduction of A. signatus from North America. All criteria assessed by EFSA for consideration as a potential Union quarantine pest are met. As A. signatus is not known to occur in the EU, this criterion assessed by EFSA to consider it as a Union regulated non-quarantine pest is not met.
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