An Apriona longhorn beetle larva has been found in an Enkianthus plant at a tree nursery in South Holland, the Netherlands, The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) reports. These beetles are designated quarantine-worthy in the Netherlands and are therefore to be controlled.
The NVWA has ordered the infected plot be destroyed, and they are now doing an environmental study. During this survey, they will examine all deciduous trees and Pinus within 100 meters around the place the infected plant stood. They are looking for traces of Apriona spp. If necessary, samples are taken. If the infestation has spread, the NVWA will focus on that.
The Apriona larva in the Enkianthus
Apriona spp. is a longhorn beetle species from South East Asia. They have a similar life cycle to Anoplophora Chinensis and Glabripennis longhorn beetles; they lay eggs on living trees. The larva develops into an adult beetle inside the tree that - depending on the temperature - exit the tree through a hole several months to years after the eggs have been laid. These beetles can infect many plant species, and are thus a risk to tree nurseries, forests, and public green spaces, especially in warmer regions.
It is still unclear whether the Netherlands' average summer temperature is high enough for proliferation and establishment, so it is not yet certain if this longhorn beetle species can establish itself outside the country. You can find more information (in Dutch) about this longhorn beetle on the NVWA site.
The NVWA is trying to trace the source of these insects using information provided by the company with the infection. This includes seeing if the Apriona spread through trade.
What does this mean for the regional businesses?
The environmental study should clarify if Apriona has spread into the surrounding area. If it is found in trees or shrubs, the infected batch or plant will have to be destroyed. The NVWA will only decide on a targeted approach if these insects seem to have spread.