Technical Note

Anoplophora chinensis (Forster) (Coleoptera Cerambycidae) in the outbreak site in Rome (Italy): experiences in dating exit holes


Anoplophora chinensis is a poliphagous woodboring beetle native to Eastern Asia, and is a serious pest accidentally introduced into Europe. Currently two infested areas are present in Italy and other infestations have occurred in the past in other European countries, while interceptions in entry ports are made yearly by National Plant Protection Organizations of the European Community. A. chinensis is a quarantine invasive pest, and strong measures are applied worldwide to prevent its introduction, spread and to eradicate its populations. The presence of exit holes of adult beetles on infested trees is one of the most important diagnostic signs to detect an A. chinensis infestation. Exit holes are visible on the bark surface of infested trees for several years, but the hole is after that enclosed by the reaction tissue (callus) of the plant; thus, after some years the exit hole is no longer visible. Such injuries produced by beetle activity can be recognised after many years by inspection of the wood after cross-sectioning of the tree. It is possible to date the time of occurrence of the injury using the annual growth ring method for tree age analyses. Surveys conducted on the wooden material collected in the infested site in Rome indicate that the first A. chinensis adult emergences from infested trees of the city occurred in 2002. Since the species takes in the infested site 1 or 2 years for juvenile development, we can speculate that the first introduction of A. chinensis into the city of Rome took place in the years 2000 or 2001.


Citrus longhorned beetle; xylophagous insect; quarantine pest

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