Emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), a new invasive pest threatening ash in Europe

Lead Author Andrey V. , Selikhovkin
Institution Contact Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia, 199034
Co-Authors Dmitry L. Musolin, Saint Petersburg State Forest Technical University, Russia, Yuri N., Baranchikov, V.N. Sukachev Institute of Forest, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science
Theme Theme 1: Vulnerability of Arctic Environments
Session Name 1.7 Invasive species in Arctic ecosystems in the changing world: Is it a real threat?
Presentation Type Poster
Abstract text Ash species (Fraxinus excelsior, F. angustifolia, F. chinensis, F. mandshurica, F. pennsylvanica) cover around 666 thousand ha in Russia. They are widely used in urban greening, shelter-belts and along roads. Approximately 80 insect species can seriously damage ashes in Europe but they are not threatening the existing ash populations in Russia.

Emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera) is a new invasive pest that has arrived from Asia to North America and killed more than 25 million ash trees there (Herms & McCullough, 2014). This destructive species was also detected in Moscow in 2005, and now it quickly expands its invasive range in all directions. By 2012, A. planipennis reached Smolensk Region bordering Belarus, and by 2013, Voronezh Region bordering Ukraine. Currently, the species’ invasive range in European Russia covers 11 administrative regions and continues to spread. In native range (likely limited by China, Korea, Japan, and Russian Far East), A. planipennis is not a major pest and only infests weakened trees of F. chinensis and F. mandshurica. In European Russia and North America, the species damages all non-Asian ashes and can kill ash stands completely (Baranchikov et al., 2014).

The beetle infests trees aged 10 or more years. Its flight period in Moscow Region is from early June to early July. Adults feed on ash leaves and lay eggs in bark crevice of trunks. Four larval instars feed under the bark and in wood. Most individuals overwinter twice as larvae and pre-pupae (Orlova-Bienkowskaja & Bieńkowski, 2015). Life cycle of A. planipennis takes two years in Moscow Region and only one year in warmer regions. This flexibility along with aggressive nature of the beetle, absence of natural resistance and natural biological control agents in invasive ranges can result in fast decline of ashes over entire Western Europe including its Northern part.