Pest categorisation of Ips amitinus
The Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of the small spruce bark beetle, Ips amitinus (Eichhoff) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae), for the EU. I. amitinus is a well-defined and distinguishable species, native to Europe and attacking mainly spruce (Picea spp.) and pine (Pinus spp.) and sporadically fir (Abies spp.) and larch (Larix spp.). It is distributed in 16 EU Member States and is locally spreading in some. The pest is listed in Annex IIB of Council Directive 2000/29/EC. Protected zones are in place in Ireland, Greece and the United Kingdom. Wood, wood products, bark and wood packaging material are considered as pathways for this pest, which is also able to disperse by flight over tens of kilometres. The insects normally establish on fallen or weakened trees (e.g. after a fire or a drought) but can also occasionally mass-attack healthy trees, when population densities are high. The males produce pheromones that attract conspecifics of both sexes. Each male attracts one to seven females to establish a brood system; each female produces 1–60 offspring. The insects also inoculate their hosts with pathogenic fungi. There are one or two generations per year. The wide current geographic range of I. amitinus suggests that it is able to establish in most areas in the EU, including the protected zones, where its hosts are present. The damage due to I. amitinus is limited and usually does not require control. Sanitary thinning or clear-felling is the usual control methods, when necessary. Quarantine measures are implemented to prevent entry in protected zones. All criteria for consideration as a potential protected zone quarantine pest are met. The criteria for considering I. amitinus as a potential regulated non-quarantine pest are not met since plants for planting are not viewed as a pathway.
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- Czech Republic