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Pest categorisation of Ips amitinus

Michael Jeger, Claude Bragard, David Caffier, Thierry Candresse, Elisavet Chatzivassiliou, Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz, Gianni Gilioli, Josep A. Jaques Miret, Alan MacLeod, Maria Navajas Navarro, Björn Niere, Stephen Parnell, Roel Potting, Trond Rafoss, Vittorio Rossi, Gregor Urek, Ariena Van Bruggen, Wopke Van der Werf, Jonathan West, Stephan Winter, Virág Kertész, Mitesha Aukhojee, Jean‐Claude Grégoire

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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Conclusions. [...]
Identity of the pest ▹ The identity of the pest is established. It can be identified to the species level using conventional entomological keys. [...]
Absence/presence of the pest in the EU territory ▹ I. amitinus is present and widely distributed in the EU; it has been reported from 16 EU MS. The protected zones, Ireland, Greece and the United Kingdom, are free from the pest. [...]
Regulatory status ▹ The pest is currently officially regulated by 2000/29/EC on plants of Abies, Larix, Picea and Pinus over 3 m in height, other than fruit and seeds, wood of conifers (Coniferales) with bark, isolated bark of conifers.
I. amitinus is regulated as a quarantine pest in protected zones (Annex IIB): Ireland, Greece and the United Kingdom.
[...]
Although there are some scattered reports of galleries being seen on Abies sp. and Larix decidua, full development of I. amitinus on these genera has not been described in the available literature. [...]
Pest potential for entry, establishment and spread in the EU territory ▹ Entry: the pest is already established in 16 MSs. Since entry by natural spread from EU areas where the pest is present is possible, only isolated areas (e.g. islands) can be long-term protected zones.
Establishment: the climate of the EU protected zones is similar to that of MSs where I. amitinus is established, and the pest's main host plants are present.
Spread: adults can disperse naturally. They can fly over tens of kilometres. The pest can also spread by human assistance, e.g. with the transportation of wood, wood chips, bark, wood packaging material and dunnage of conifers. [...]
Plants for planting are not a pathway for the spread of I. amitinus. [...]
Potential for consequences in the EU territory ▹ The pest is very secondary. [...]
Young trees are not attacked by I. amitinus; therefore impacts in nurseries are not expected. [...]
Possible interactions with Ips typographus have been described and modelled but so far not supported by observations. [...]
Available measures ▹ In isolated areas (e.g. islands) that cannot be reached by natural spread, measures can be put in place to prevent the introduction of the pest. For wood, wood products, wood chips and bark, this can be achieved by debarking wood and heat treatment of wood, bark and chips.
When such geographical barriers do not exist, there is no possibility to prevent the entry, establishment and spread of I. amitinus by natural dispersal. [...]
Young plants are not attacked by I. amitinus. [...]
Conclusion on pest categorisation ▹ All criteria assessed by EFSA above for consideration as 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 a pathway. [...]
Aspects of assessment to focus on/scenarios to address in future if appropriate ▹ Considering the reportedly low impact of the pest, no further assessment is deemed necessary. [...]


EFSA Journal, Vol. 15, No. 10. (October 2017), e05038, https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2017.5038 
Key: INRMM:14472141

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