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Pest categorisation of Platypus apicalis


The EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Platypus apicalis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Platypodinae), an ambrosia beetle, also known as a pinhole borer, for the EU territory. P. apicalis is a polyphagous pest native to New Zealand. The majority of its life cycle is spent inside tree wood, but it does not directly feed on plant tissue, instead larvae and adults feed on a symbiotic fungus (Sporothrix nothofagi which is pathogenic to Nothofagus spp.) vectored by adults and introduced when they bore tunnels into the host. P. apicalis feeds within a wide range of live, often stressed trees, in dead or dying hardwood and softwood trees, and fallen or felled trees. Successful reproduction can occur inside a number of living tree species including Castanea sativa, Pinus spp. and Ulmus spp. P. apicalis is not known to have established outside of New Zealand although findings have been reported in Australia. Whilst there are no records of interceptions of this species in the EU, platypodines are intercepted with solid wood packing material (SWPM) and Platypus species, but not P. apicalis, have been intercepted with wooden logs in Japan. Host plants for planting also provide a potential pathway. Hosts are grown widely across the EU in areas with climates comparable to those in New Zealand where the pest occurs suggesting that conditions in the EU are suitable for its establishment. If introduced into the EU, adults could disperse naturally by flight, perhaps tens or hundreds of metres. The movement of infested wood and host plants for planting within the EU could facilitate spread. Economic impacts in forestry and timber industries would result from the galleries created by P. apicalis and from wood staining caused by the symbiotic fungus. Phytosanitary measures are available to inhibit the entry of P. apicalis. P. apicalis 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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