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The palm weevil Rhynchophorus vulneratus is eradicated from Laguna Beach


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In October 2010, Rhynchophorus vulneratus, originally identified as the red palm weevil, R. ferrugineus, was discovered infesting Canary Island date palms in Laguna Beach, California. The red palm weevil has caused extensive mortality of palms in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa, and its discovery in California caused concern for the state's ornamental palm and date industries and the many palms in Southern California landscapes. A rapid, coordinated effort led to the deployment of traps baited with the weevil's aggregation pheromone, coordinated pesticide applications to privately owned palms and destruction of palms at advanced stages of infestation. Research confirmed the chemical components of the aggregation pheromone, assessed the efficacy of trapping strategies and resolved the taxonomic identity, native range and putative region of origin for the population detected in Laguna Beach. The last confirmed detection of a live R. vulneratus was Jan. 20, 2012. USDA-APHIS declared this weevil eradicated from California on Jan. 20, 2015. The estimated cost of the eradication was $1,003,646. © 2016, University of California, Oakland. All rights reserved.
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The palm weevil Rhynchophorus vulneratus is
eradicated from Laguna Beach
by Mark S. Hoddle, Christina D. Hoddle, Mohammed Alzubaidy, John Kabashima, J. Nicholas Nisson, Jocelyn Millar and Monica Dimson
In October 2010, Rhynchophorus vulneratus, originally identied as the red palm
weevil, R. ferrugineus, was discovered infesting Canary Island date palms in Laguna
Beach, California. The red palm weevil has caused extensive mortality of palms in the
Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa, and its discovery in California caused
concern for the state’s ornamental palm and date industries and the many palms in
Southern California landscapes. A rapid, coordinated eort led to the deployment
of traps baited with the weevil’s aggregation pheromone, coordinated pesticide
applications to privately owned palms and destruction of palms at advanced stages
of infestation. Research conrmed the chemical components of the aggregation
pheromone, assessed the ecacy of trapping strategies and resolved the taxonomic
identity, native range and putative region of origin for the population detected in
Laguna Beach. The last conrmed detection of a live R. vulneratus was Jan. 20, 2012.
USDA-APHIS declared this weevil eradicated from California on Jan. 20, 2015.
The estimated cost of the eradication was $1,003,646.
On Aug. 3, 2010, a badly damaged
Canary Island date palm, Phoenix
canariensis Chabaud (Areca les:
Arecaceae), was removed by a profes-
sional arborist in Laguna Beach, Orange
County, California. Examination of the
crown by the arborist resulted in the re-
covery of adult and larval weevils (Cole-
optera: Curculionidae). This material was
submitted to the Orange County agricul-
tural commissioner’s ofce for identica-
tion on Sept. 1, 2010, and the California
Department of Food and Agriculture
(CDFA) subsequently identied the adult
specimens as Rhynchophorus ferrugineus
(Olivier) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), the
red palm weevil.
The CDFA’s tentative identication
was conrmed by the United States
Department of Agriculture (USDA) on
Sept. 24, 2010. On Oct. 26, 2010, a live adult
male weevil was recovered from a second
heavily damaged Canary Island date
palm in Laguna Beach. The weevil was
identied as R. ferrugineus by specialists
at the CDFA and USDA (Hoddle 2010a).
These two nd sites were 0.07 miles (0.12
kilometers) apart.
Laguna Beach is a small (~ 8.8 square
miles [23 square kilometers], 23,250 in-
habitants), relatively isolated, wealthy res-
idential area between the Pacic Ocean, to
the west, and the dry, relatively undevel-
oped San Joaquin Hills, to the east. One
north-south highway, California State
Route 1, and one west-east highway, State
Route 133, run through Laguna Beach; the
city has no airport, seaport or interstate
Published online September 8, 2016
Adult male Rhynchophorus vulneratus
recovered from an infested Canary
Island date palm in Laguna Beach.
Research Article
border crossings. Tourism is a major in-
dustry, with ~ 3 million people visiting
the city annually (Turnbull 2004).
Rhynchophorus spp. weevils, especially
R. ferrugineus, are notoriously destructive
palm pests in native and invaded ranges
(Faleiro 2006; Murphy and Briscoe 1999).
R. ferrugineus attacks more than 40 palm
species in 23 genera. It is a destructive
pest of the coconut palm, Cocos nucifera
L. (Arecales: Arecaceae), (Giblin-Davis et
al. 2013) in its native range, which is the
northern and western regions of continen-
tal Southeast Asia (e.g., northern Thailand,
Vietnam and Cambodia), Sri Lanka and
the Philippines (Rugman-Jones et al. 2013).
Accidental introduction of R. ferrugineus
into regions outside of its native range
has occurred via the movement of live
palms infested with weevils, and this
pest has caused extensive mortality of P.
canariensis in the Mediterranean and of
date palms (Phoenix dactylifera L.) in the
Middle East and North Africa (Faleiro
2006; Faleiro et al. 2012; Giblin-Davis et al.
2013; Murphy and Briscoe 1999).
Discovery of red palm weevil in
California was of major concern because
the ornamental palm and date industries
are estimated, respectively, at $70 million
and $34 million annually (CDFA 2013),
and palms are ubiquitous in Southern
California landscapes. Furthermore, the
native California fan palm, Washingtonia
lifera (Lindl.) H.Wendl. (Arecales:
Arecaceae), restricted to a limited range
comprising desert riparian habitats in the
western United States, was considered
vulnerable because it is a known host for
R. ferrugineus (Ju et al. 2011; Longo et al.
Weevil biology
Palm mortality caused by R. ferrugin-
eus results from internal feeding by larvae
(mature larvae can exceed ~ 2 inches [5
centimeters] in length), which are con-
cealed within the palm during the entire
larval life cycle, making detection of early
infestations and subsequent control dif-
cult (Giblin-Davis et al. 2013). Internal
feeding by two or three generations of
weevil larvae over 1 to 2 years can kill
infested palms. Palm death results from
mortality of apical growing areas (typical
for C. nucifera and P. canariensis) or trunk
collapse (typical for P. dactyli f e ra) (Faliero
2006; Giblin-Davis et al. 2013; Murphy and
Briscoe 1999).
A second Southeast Asian palm
weevil species, R. vulneratus (Pa n zer),
was reported to have a more southern
distribution in Asia than R. ferrugineus
(Wattanapongsiri 1966). A taxonomic
revision by Hallett et al. (2004), with
specimens collected from west Java, in
Indonesia, separated the species pri-
marily on the basis of color differences,
with R. vulneratus typically being black
with a red stripe on the dorsal surface
of the thorax and R. ferrugineus being
orange with black markings). Unable
to nd any signicant molecular, mor-
phological or behavioral differences or
mating incompatibilities between these
two color morphs, Hallett et al. (2004)
synonymized R. vulneratus with R. fer-
rugineus, with R. ferrugineus having nam-
ing priority. Therefore, the black palm
weevils with a prominent red stripe
on the dorsal surface of the thorax (i.e.,
the R. vulneratus morph) discovered in
Laguna Beach were ofcially identied
as R. ferrugineus.
Subsequent work investigating the
origin of the palm weevil invasion in
Laguna Beach used molecular markers
to investigate the identity of the species
detected and to ascertain its probable area
of origin. DNA-based analyses of weevils
collected throughout the presumptive
native ranges of R. ferrugineus and R. vul-
neratus concluded that the weevil species
collected in Laguna Beach was R. vulnera-
tus, a species distinct from R. ferrugineus.
Molecular analyses by Rugman-Jones
et al. (2013) indicated that R. vulneratus
has a native range conned largely to
southern Thailand and northern Malaysia
on the Malay Peninsula, Singapore, and
Indonesia, and that this species has a
range of color forms, including that typi-
cal of the invasive R. ferrugineus (g. 1).
The results of these molecular studies
on species identities and geographic
distributions supported earlier work by
Wattanapongsiri (1966). It was concluded
that Hallett et al. (2004) had been study-
ing different color morphs of R. vulneratus
in Java and that R. vulneratus had been
incorrectly synonymized with R. ferru-
gineus (Rugman-Jones et al. 2013). From
this point forward, we will refer to the
weevil species found at Laguna Beach as
R. vulneratus.
The only nd of R. vulneratus outside
of its native range has been in Laguna
Beach. The nearest molecular match to
the Laguna Beach population was with
R. vulneratus collected in Bali, Indonesia
(Rugman-Jones et al. 2013). It was hypoth-
esized that the introduction of R. vulnera-
tus into Laguna Beach may have been
Fig. 1. Two color morphs of Rhynchophorus vulneratus recovered from an infested coconut palm in Java, Indonesia. (A) The orange and black morph of
R. vulneratus (left) is very similar in appearance to R. ferrugineus. The black morph with the red dorsal stripe (right) is similar to adult R. vulneratus
recovered in Laguna Beach. (B) Two color morphs of R. vulneratus copulating.
(A) (B)
Mark Hoddle
Mark Hoddle
2 CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURE • DOI: 10.3733/ca.2016a0012
deliberate, possibly to start a local source
of palm weevil larvae and pupae to be
used in the preparation of traditional
Asian dishes (Hoddle 2015).
Response in Laguna Beach
To delineate the areas in Laguna
Beach infested by R. vulneratus, 1-gallon
(3.78-liter) bucket traps were loaded with
Ferrolure 700 mg (ChemTica Internacional
S.A., Costa Rica), which contains the ag-
gregation pheromone 4-methyl-5-nonanol
(ferrugineol). Also in the bucket were
ethyl acetate (a synergist), fermenting
apples as bait and 0.26 gallon (1 liter) of a
50:50 mixture of water and propylene gly-
col (to drown and preserve weevils).
Trapping commenced Oct. 7, 2010. A
total of 150 traps were deployed by CDFA
at two different densities within a survey
area of 6 square miles (15.6 square kilo-
meters; ~ 68% of the land area of Laguna
Beach). High-density trapping was set
at 50 traps per 1 square mile (2.6 square
kilometers) around nd sites. Outside of
this zone, 25 traps were deployed per 1
square mile (2.6 square kilometers). Two
additional traps (total number used for
monitoring was 152) were deployed at a
green waste facility 15 miles (24 kilome-
ters) south of the nd sites to monitor for
weevils inadvertently moved there in dis-
posed palm material. Traps were attached
to palm trunks ~ 6.6 feet (2 meters) above
the ground and inspected daily from
Oct. 7, 2010, to Oct. 17, 2010, weekly until
March 19, 2011, then biweekly until Jan. 20,
2015, when eradication was declared.
Visual surveys of 13,485 palm trees
for weevil damage on 1,963 properties
within 6 square kilometers of the initial
nd sites were conducted by CDFA over
the period Sept. 27, 2010, to Oct. 28, 2010.
Detection of empty pupal cases or body
fragments of dead adult weevils con-
rmed the presence of this pest in ve
survey locations. Visual surveys were
aided by a large response from residents,
local arborists and palm enthusiasts.
Reports of symptomatic palms by these
groups were investigated by CDFA and
Orange County program personnel, and
cooperating home owners provided ac-
cess to private properties. Survey results
in Laguna Beach indicated that the area
infested with R. vulneratus was ~ 0.39
square miles (1 square kilometer), which
equated to ~ 4% of the land area of the
city of Laguna Beach.
The public response to outreach ef-
forts and subsequent surveys resulted
in another pest discovery in Southern
California: the rst conrmation of the
South American palm weevil, R. pal-
marum (L.) (g. 2), in California and the
neighboring state of Baja California,
Mexico (Hoddle 2011a). The high mortal-
ity of Canary date palms in Tijuana since
at least 2011 has been the source of wee-
vils entering Southern California, and it
is likely that R. palmarum will become a
problematic pest of ornamental, date and
native palms in California, as there are
increasing reports of P. canariensis being
killed by this pest in San Ysidro in San
Diego County. At this time there are no
active programs targeting R. palmarum in
Southern California.
A technical working group (TWG) was
assembled by the USDA to provide expert
input into the emerging monitoring and
management program for R. vulneratus
in Laguna Beach. The TWG included in-
ternational palm weevil experts, research
scientists from UC Riverside, CDFA
and USDA, UC Cooperative Extension
personnel from San Diego, Orange and
Los Angeles counties and county ento-
mologists from the agricultural commis-
sioner’s ofces in Orange and San Diego
The TWG met at Laguna Beach from
Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, 2010 (Hoddle 2010b).
The group produced a document with
recommendations pertaining to (1) detec-
tion and identication of visual symp-
toms typifying infestations, (2) trapping
guidelines, (3) assessment of techniques
for early detection of infestations, (4) pes-
ticide treatments, (5) removal and destruc-
tion of infested palms and (6) education,
outreach and information dissemination
to local communities and palm industry
professionals (Hoddle 2010c; Hoddle
2011b; Hoddle 2011c).
Despite evidence of damaged palms
in Laguna Beach, baited pheromone traps
captured only one adult weevil, which
was found on Jan. 18, 2012, within 0.21
kilometer of the original nd sites. In re-
sponse to this nd, between Jan. 31, 2012,
and Feb. 15, 2012, visual surveys of palms
for weevil infestations were conducted by
CDFA within an area of 0.6 square miles
(1.6 square kilometers). A total of 5,564
palm trees were inspected on 782 prop-
erties. Two additional properties with
palms exhibiting characteristic weevil
feeding damage to fronds (leaf notching
or holes in the petiole base) were identi-
ed. However, weevil presence (pupal
cases or adult weevils) was not conrmed.
Fig. 2. Rhynchophorus palmarum adult (A) and larva (B) extracted from a cocoon of palm bers. Both were collected from an infested Phoenix canariensis
in Tijuana, Mexico. This weevil was detected as a result of the public’s response to requests for help with the R. vulneratus invasion in Laguna Beach.
R. palmarum may have established in San Diego County and potentially poses a serious threat to Californias palms.
(A) (B)
Mark Hoddle
The low capture rates of R. vulneratus
in pheromone traps in areas with ap-
parent or suspected weevil infestations
caused concern because it suggested
that the pheromone traps might not be
attractive to R. vulneratus. If this was
the case, then the lack of a sensitive and
species-specic monitoring tool
could signicantly impair the
management program targeting
R. vulneratus.
Verifying pheromone
Hallet et al. (1993) identied
two aggregation pheromone com-
ponents, 4-methyl-5-nonanone
(ferrugineone) and 4-methyl-
5-nonanol (ferrugineol), produced
by male R. vulneratus (they incorrectly
assumed that they were working with R.
ferrugineus) collected in Java, Indonesia.
To verify the chemical identify of the ag-
gregation pheromone of R. vulneratus as
reported by Hallett et al. (1993), male and
female weevils were eld collected by
authors Mark and Christina Hoddle in
Sumatra, Indonesia, and used for phero-
mone collection.
Pheromone collections and controls
consisted of four treatments: (1) a steril-
ized mesh container only, (2) four male
weevils on a food source (either sugar-
cane or oil palm hearts, used separately in
case one stimulated pheromone produc-
tion), (3) four female weevils on a food
source and (4) the food source used in
2 and 3 without weevils. All treatments
were placed inside heat-sterilized mesh
containers, which in turn were enclosed
by odorless Terinex oven bags (Terinex
Ltd., Bedford, U.K.). The mesh containers
held the weevils and food and prevented
weevils from chewing holes in the oven
bags and escaping.
Treatments 1 and 4 provided control
chemical proles of volatiles from the
mesh cage and the food sources, and
treatments 2 and 3 provided proles of
volatiles released by male and female
weevils. An aquarium pump was used to
push puried air into the oven bags over
the mesh containers, food and weevils,
and as the airstream exited, it was passed
through activated charcoal lters, which
trapped the volatiles released into the air-
space of the bags by the weevils or food
items (g. 3A).
Fig. 3. (A) Rhynchophorus vulneratus pheromone aeration set up in an outdoor screen house in Sumatra,
Indonesia. (1) Terinex odorless oven bag enclosing a sterilized wire mesh container holding adult male
or female weevils with food (see inset photo). (2) Inlet with 6 to 14 mesh activated charcoal lter to
purify ingoing air. (3) Outlet with thermally desorbed 50 to 200 mesh activated charcoal collector to
collect volatile compounds emitted by weevils and food items. (4) Manifold to regulate airow. (5)
Aquarium pump to push and pull air through oven bags. (6) Airow meters. (B) GC–MS chromatograms
of volatiles collected from male and female R. vulneratus and the oil palm (food source for weevils)
control. Peaks 1 and 2 in the chromatogram for male weevils are 4-methyl-5-nonanone (ferrugineone)
and 4-methyl-5-nonanol (ferrugineol), respectively. Schematic prepared by Steve McElfresh.
Abundance (X10
Time (min)
4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
Oil palm control
Christina Hoddle
4 CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURE • DOI: 10.3733/ca.2016a0012
Aerations were made continuously
for 3 to 4 days, and treatments were rep-
licated four times. The trapped volatiles
were eluted from the charcoal collectors
and analyzed by coupled gas chromatog-
raphy–mass spectrometry (GC–MS). The
insect-produced compounds were tenta-
tively identied by interpretation of their
mass spectra, and these identications
were veried by comparing the GC reten-
tion times and mass spectra with those
of authentic standards obtained from
The analyses showed that two male-
specic compounds were produced by
R. vulneratus in Sumatra, and they were
conclusively identied as the two previ-
ously reported aggregation pheromone
components obtained for R. vulneratus
from Java (Hallett et al. 1993) (g. 3B).
This result raised an important question:
What are the aggregation pheromones for
R. ferrugineus? The commercially available
aggregation pheromone used for R. ferru-
gineus management was identied from R.
vulneratus (Hallett et al. 1993), and to our
knowledge, the identity of the aggrega-
tion pheromone produced by R. ferrugin-
eus has not yet been determined, although
this species is attracted to baited traps
containing ferrugineol and ferrugineone
derived from R. vulneratus.
Field evaluations of
baited traps
The attractiveness of traps loaded
with fermenting bait, ethyl acetate and
Ferrolure 700 mg was eld-tested in
the Philippines (R. ferrugineus was the
species present at study sites on Luzon
Island) and Indonesia (R. vulneratus was
the species present on Sumatra). At the
time these eld studies were conducted, it
was assumed that R. ferrugineus was the
subject of this work and the only species
present in both countries.
In the Philippines, three different
treatments were tested for attractiveness
to weevils; traps were baited with (1) fer-
menting dates or pieces of coconut palm
heart, ethyl acetate and aggregation pher-
omone, (2) freshly cut coconut palm logs
only and (3) a combination of treatments
1 and 2 (Hoddle and Hoddle 2011). This
experiment was repeated in Sumatra and
results were similar: baited pheromone
traps combined with freshly cut palm
logs, treatment 3, were very attractive to
R. vulneratus (Hoddle and Hoddle 2015).
The volatiles from cut palm logs likely
act synergistically with the aggregation
pheromones to increase attraction (Hallett
et al. 1993).
A combination of traps and cut date
palm trunks (date palms were used be-
cause coconut palms were not available)
was tested in Laguna Beach to determine
if it would result in captures of R. vulnera-
tus in areas where activity was observed
but no weevils had been caught in traps.
Date palm sections were obtained from a
commercial palm producer in Coachella
Valley, California. Three sites around ar-
eas with suspected R. vulneratus act ivity
in Laguna Beach were selected for weevil
monitoring with sections of date palm
trunks and pheromone traps.
Sections of cut apical parts of palm
trunks were stacked beside P. canariensis
palms and baited pheromone traps were
deployed on top of these stacks. Traps
were checked daily from June 21, 2012, to
July 17, 2012, for a total of 27 consecutive
days. No weevils were found in traps or
log stacks. This trial was repeated Oct. 18,
2012, to Nov. 11, 2012, a 27-day period. No
weevils were recovered from the second
trial (see Hoddle 2012 for more details).
Palm removals, and pesticides
On Nov. 3, 2010, the infested Canary
Island date palm that yielded a live male
weevil on Oct. 26, 2010, was removed
from Laguna Beach and disposed of in
compliance with strict destruction proto-
cols (Hoddle 2010d). No live larvae, pupae
or adult weevils were found inside the
trunk or petioles. This palm was the only
one removed as part of the R. vulneratus
management program.
A total of 13 palm trees were treated
with broad-spectrum contact pesticides
applied to foliage and/or systemic pesti-
cides that were applied via trunk or soil
injections (Hoddle 2011d; Hoddle 2011e):
three P. canariensis (two with conrmed
infestations; treated once each), ve
Howea forsteriana Becc. (suspected infes-
tations based on visual damage assess-
ments; treated three times from August to
December 2011), one Chamaerops sp. (sus-
pected; treated once) and four Roystonea
sp. (suspected; treated twice from March
to April 2012).
One P. canariensis with conrmed
R. vulneratus activity was treated with
pesticides Jun. 2, 2011 (Hoddle 2011e),
then cut down and removed from a pri-
vate residence in Laguna Beach on Mar.
27, 2013, because it was causing structural
damage to an adjacent building (Hoddle
2013). The palm crown and petiole bases
on individual fronds were examined for
R. vulneratus feeding damage. There was
no visual evidence of feeding damage,
and no larvae, pupal cases or adults (dead
or alive) were found (Hoddle 2013).
Declaration of
eradication, cost
On Jan. 20, 2015, USDA-APHIS of-
cially declared eradication of R. fer-
rugineus (i.e., R. vulneratus) from Laguna
Beach, 3 years after the last detection of
a single live weevil on Jan. 18, 2012 (El-
Lissy 2015). The eradication declaration
was made in accordance with European
and Mediterranean Plant Protection
Organization International Standards,
which require a period of 3 consecutive
years with no pest detections (El-Lissy
Despite signicant data supporting
R. vulneratus as the invasive weevil spe-
cies in Laguna Beach (Rugman-Jones
et al. 2013), USDA-APHIS states that it
will “continue to refer to this detection as
Rhynchophorus ferrugineus until additional
information is available” (Molet et al. 2011,
revised 2014). This stance is based on the
desire of USDA-APHIS for a combined
dataset of morphological and DNA in-
formation, as well as discrete species di-
agnoses, to resolve remaining taxonomic
uncertainty (Eileen Smith, USDA-APHIS,
personal communication, Mar. 31, 2015).
Canary Island date palm killed by Rhynchophorus
vulneratus in Laguna Beach (note healthy Canary
Island date palms in the background).
The cost of the eradication of R. vulneratus from Laguna
Beach was estimated at $1,003,646. A breakdown of estimated
expenditures is provided in table 1.
Success factors
Eradication of an invasive arthropod pest depends on mul-
tiple interacting factors. Specically, small infested areas that
can be monitored with highly specic and sensitive tools (e.g.,
pheromone-baited traps) have higher eradication success prob-
abilities. Furthermore, the smaller the area being treated, the
less it costs to eradicate the target (Tobin et al. 2014). These fac-
tors likely contributed, in part, to the successful eradication of R.
vulneratus from Laguna Beach.
Social, economic, regulatory and political factors also are
critical components of eradication programs (Pluess et al. 2012).
These may include the authority of regulatory agencies to inter-
vene and take action on private and public lands, procurement
of funds to support the project, the commitment and political
will of stakeholders affected by the invasion and, very impor-
tantly, strong public support for eradication efforts (Tobin et al.
2014). The R. vulneratus eradication effort beneted from strong
socioeconomic support.
Organisms need to maintain populations above a critical
density, the Allee threshold, if they are to persist. Below this
threshold, populations trend toward extinction (Liebhold and
Tobin 2008; Suckling et al. 2012). Factors negatively inuencing
the Allee threshold and increasing extinction risk may include
(1) unsuitable climate, (2) suboptimal foods, (3) low genetic
TABLE 1. Estimated costs for the program that eradicated
Rhynchophorus vulneratus from Laguna Beach,
September 2010 to January 2015
Expenditure item
cost ($)
Labor for visual inspections of palms and monitoring of baited
pheromone traps in Laguna Beach
Bucket traps and supplies for maintaining traps (pheromones,
fruit, etc.) in Laguna Beach
Travel to monitor traps (vehicle rental and gas) in Laguna Beach 60,000
Salary estimates for CDFA, UC and county agricultural
commissioner employees involved in palm weevil monitoring,
management and research
CDFA Specialty Crop Block Grant that supported molecular
analyses of weevils, testing of pheromones and trapping
strategies in native and invaded ranges, and identication of
aggregation pheromones collected from R. vulneratus in Sumatra,
Pesticide applications to 13 palm trees in Laguna Beach 1,200
Four date palms used for enhanced trapping trials at Laguna
Beach ($3,000 per palm)
Outreach and extension materials and community meetings for
Miscellaneous costs, including rental of bucket trucks (cherry
pickers) to inspect palms; palm removal, transport and disposal;
cameras, binoculars; etc.
Statewide monitoring program for invasive palm weevils in other
areas of California, outside of Laguna Beach (998 traps deployed
in 12 counties)
TOTA L 1,003,646
Fig. 4. Average monthly comparisons between Laguna Beach, California, and
Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia for (A) temperature, (B) rainfall and (C) humidity.
Sources: and
Denpasar, Bali
Laguna Beach
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Average relative humidity (%)
Denpasar, Bali
Laguna Beach
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Average rainfall (mm)
Denpasar, Bali
Laguna Beach
Average temperature (˚C)
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
6 CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURE • DOI: 10.3733/ca.2016a0012
variability and (4) control tactics such as
the use of pesticides. The interaction of
some or all of these factors may have con-
tributed to the successful eradication of R.
First, the climate in Laguna Beach may
not have been suitable for vigorous year-
round population growth of the weevil.
Average monthly temperatures and rain-
fall are lower in Laguna Beach than in
Bali, Indonesia (g. 4), where weevils with
the closest genetic match to specimens
collected from Laguna Beach were found
(Rugman-Jones et al. 2013). Second, low
genetic variability due to the small size of
the founding population (Rugman-Jones
et al. 2013) may have reduced the tness
of the founding population. Third, the
suitability of Phoenix spp. and other palm
species as hosts for R. vulneratus is not
known, and P. canariensis may be of mar-
ginal quality as a host. Collectively, when
coupled with targeted pesticide applica-
tions to infested palms, these factors may
have suppressed population growth and
pushed weevil densities below the Allee
threshold, resulting in the extinction of
this palm pest at Laguna Beach. c
M.S. Hoddle is UC Cooperative Ex tension (UCCE)
Specialist in Biological Control in the Department of
Entomology and Director of the Center for Invasive
Species Research at UC Riverside; C.D. Hoddle is Assistant
Specialist in the Department of Entomology at UC
Riverside; M. Alzubaidy is Senior Environmental Scientist
at CDFA, Pest Detection/Emergency Projects, Anaheim;
J. Kabashima is UCCE Environmental Horticulture
Advisor Emeritus at South Coast Research and Extension
Center, Irvine; J.N. Nisson is Entomologist at Orange
County Agricultural Commissioner’s Oce, Tustin; J.
Millar is Professor of Entomology in the Department
of Entomology at UC Riverside; and M. Dimson is Sta
Research Associate at South Coast Research and
Extension Center, Irvine.
We are grateful to Duane Young, Cocopah
Nurseries, for donating date palms. Albert Keck an d
Hadley Dates provided logistical suppor t. We appreciate
the cooperation of homeowners in Laguna Beach
who provided unrestricted access to their properties
and cooperated with surveys, enhanced trapping
trials and pesticide treatments of infested palms. We
thank Kevin Homan, Laura Petro and Debby Tanouye
(CDFA) and Helene Wright (USDA) for assistance. We
acknowledge the suppor t of Marcie Johnson, Gilbert
Vargas (arborist), West Coast Arborists, City of Laguna
Beach, Target Specialty Products, Ed Black and RPW
Services for assistance with surveys for infested palms
and treating infestations. We are indebted to Stephen
Nelson, Ahmed Saleh, Lisanti Cahyasiwi, Adi Sumantri,
Linda Purwaninigsih and Prima Wijayanto, and
also to Sumatra Bioscience and Bah Lias Research
Station (Lonsum) for their outstanding hospitality and
generous assistance with pheromone eld evaluations
and aeration trials in Sumatra, Indonesia. We thank
Carmela Balcazar, of Villa Escudero Plantations, San
Pablo, Philippines, for facilitating pheromone eld trials
in a commercial coconut plantation in the Philippines.
Research in support of this project was suppor ted,
in part, by a CDFA Specialty Crops Grant, SCB11061,
“Addressing Urgent Research Needs for Red Palm Weevil
in California.”
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... €), and at Laguna Beach, California, USA (total cost 1.000.000 $) (Hoddle et al. 2016). In both areas integrated pest management strategies (IPM) included the exhaustive visual sanitary evaluation of all private and public palms, application of regular pesticide treatments and the destruction of infested material. ...
... The success of the IPM was not immediate but 1 year after its implementation the infestation probabilities decreased from 20 to 3% and from 94 to 63% for healthy and previously infested palms, respectively. However, to ensure the long-term effectiveness of management measures and to achieve a complete eradication, pest management measures should be implemented as a common strategy by all municipalities of the island, by public entities as well as private owners (Hoddle et al. 2016;Milosavljević et al. 2019). ...
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A common complication in invasive pest management is that the infectious state of the host can be wrongly assessed, leading to biases in the estimation of the prevalence of the pest and on the efficacy of mitigation actions. We designed a multievent model that accommodates uncertainty on host state to investigate the dynamics of the infestation of Phoenix canariensis by the invasive Rhynchophorus ferrugineus. Since 2011, the council of Palma city (Mallorca Island, Spain) applied preventive, curative and destructive treatments to public Phoenix palms. A year later awareness campaigns focused on every palm owner in an attempt to control the plague. We estimated the probability of infestation and assessed the efficiency of mitigation measures, awareness campaigns and palm-dependent covariates. Our results show that infestation probabilities were higher for palms infested in the previous year than for healthy palms and it decreased substantially over time as a results of mitigation measures and awareness campaigns. Palms surrounded by treated palms had a lower probability of being infested than palms surrounded by untreated palms, i.e. private palms before awareness campaigns implementation. Our results highlight the key role of awareness campaigns and public participation for invasive species control.
... Red palm weevil (RPW) is an important insect pest on over 40 species of Arecaceae family, including coconuts, date palms, sago palms as well as a few ornamental palms worldwide (Faleiro 2006;Hoddle et al. 2016). The damages caused by RPW have incurred up to millions of dollars due to the yield loss and the costs of integrated management of this pest in the Gulf region of the Middle East (El-Sabea et al. 2009). ...
The red palm weevil (RPW) is a notorious phytophagous pest infesting various palm species around the world. In Malaysia, the RPW was known to cause damage on coconuts in the East Coast regions of the Peninsula and posed risks to oil palms. Thus, early detection and monitoring studies of RPW in both coconuts and oil palms by using acoustic sensors were carried out at Dungun, Terengganu and Tanah Merah, Kelantan. The smart sensor identified the presence of RPW within the coconuts and oil palms. Continuous monitoring of RPW using acoustic sensors is needed to avoid the risk of spreading of this cryptic borer, especially in oil palm plantations.
... Rhynchophorus ferrugineus sensu stricto, typified by its orange coloration and varying degrees of black maculation on the pronotum, has already successfully invaded most countries of the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Basin, but has not been recorded from the USA (El-Mergawy et al 2011; Rugman-Jones et al. 2013). However, an isolated incursion of its cryptic twin, Rhynchophorus vulneratus (Panzer) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), was detected in Laguna Beach, California, USA, in Aug 2010 (NAPPO 2010), and later eradicated (Hoddle et al. 2016). In California, all intercepted R. vulneratus specimens were predominantly black with a red stripe on the pronotum, but in its native range of Southeast Asia, the scope of color-variation in this species overlaps with R. ferrugineus and the 2 species can be reliably distinguished only with the aid of DNA sequencing (Rugman-Jones et al. 2013). ...
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The red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is an invasive and injurious pest of palms that has extended its native range from Asia to Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean Basin. In 2010, the morphologically indistinguishable Rhynchophorus vulneratus (Panzer) was detected and subsequently eradicated in California, USA. In 2011, a population of palm weevils was detected in ornamental palms in Tunis, Tunisia. Uncertainty over the identity of the weevil population in Tunisia led to conflicting speculation that the source populations emerged from infested palms illegally imported from either the USA or Italy. Mitochondrial haplotypes of specimens collected at multiple sites around Tunis were compared with haplotypes from global populations of R. ferrugineus and R. vulneratus, confirming that the Tunisian populations were R. ferrugineus. Moreover, the Tunisian populations had the same fixed mitochondrial haplotype ubiquitous in invasive populations throughout the Mediterranean Basin, and we conclude that the Tunisian populations most likely originated from imported infested palms from Europe, and not from palms imported from the USA.
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Since its entry into Tunisia in 2010, the red palm weevil has dispersed to many parts of the country and killed thousands of canary palms. The purpose of this study is to test several treatment models of RPW control strategies in order to deduce which strategy is the most effective, efficient, ecological and least expensive. These experiments lasted one year and according to the obtained results, the foliar treatments can be reduced from 12 times to 8 times only without having any difference in the evolution of the infestation of this pest. It can have less environmental impact and can make more money. Endotherapy demonstrate a relevant efficacy in the treatment of palm trees, except that specialists should do it in accordance with the rules of the art. Confidor 200 SL prove to be efficacious because the treated palms have not evolved only from 3 months of treatment, so the latter is effective for a duration of only 3 months, Furthermore, the Pro Act 50 CE has at least 7 months of palm protection. On the other hand, foliar treatment in combination with endotherapy did not significantly change the results compared to endotherapy alone. Using pheromone traps with foliar treatments and endotherapies with confidor 200 SL did not show much of a difference from endotherapy alone. In the case of the Pro Act 50 EC, there is no major difference either. Using traps, foliar treatments should be performed to protect the palms from new infestations by females that have won the palms without the traps. This triple treatment in the long term proves effective. Finally, for all stage 4 palms (umbrella) no treatment is curative.
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Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is a severe pest of palm trees worldwide. The development and feeding activities of R. ferrugineus larvae inside the trunk damage palm trees. However, the absence of noticeable infestation signs at an early stage contributes to the spread of the attack. Integrated pest management (IPM) has been introduced to control R. ferrugineus infestation by implementing various approaches and techniques. The application of chemical pesticides has shown impressive results. However, biological control should be applied as an alternative solution due to adverse environmental impacts and pest resistance issues. One example is the use of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) as biological control agents, which can forage and attack targeted pests without compromising the environment and other nontarget organisms. EPNs and their symbiotic bacteria have a mutualistic interaction that can kill the host within a short period of time. Therefore, this review emphasizes the effectiveness of entomopathogenic nematodes and their symbiotic bacteria against R. ferrugineus.
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Simple Summary: Palm weevils—both South American and red palm weevils—threaten economically relevant palms, affecting oil and fruit production with a corresponding social impact. The natural tendency of the red palm weevil to explore vast territories in combination with corridors of cultivated susceptible palm species drives pest expansion in new territories. Invasion still occurs westward, from Sundaland to Portugal and the West-African coast, including the Canary Archipelago. The red palm weevil menaces the South American oil palm plantations, opening a new double-pest scenario and consequential damages or a possible coexistence with reciprocal competitive exclusion phenomena opportunities. On the brink of the red palm weevil’s entrance into South America, we present available options for multiple lure-use in contaminating stations for the sustainable and effective management of both pests. Abstract: Coupling several natural and synthetic lures with aggregation pheromones from the palm weevils Rhynchophorus palmarum and R. ferrugineus reveals a synergy that results in an increase in pest captures. The combined attraction of pure pheromones, ethyl acetate, and decaying sweet and starchy plant tissue increases the net total of mass-trapped weevils. The 2018 entrance of the red palm weevil (RPW) into South America has threatened palm-product income in Brazil and other neighboring countries. The presence of the new A1 quarantine pest necessitates the review of all available options for a sustainable mass-trapping, monitoring, and control strategy to ultimately target both weevils with the same device. The effective lure-blend set for the mass-trapping system will attract weevils in baiting and contaminating stations for entomopathogenic fungi that the same weevils will spread. Keywords: preventive and protective alien invasive and quarantine pest IPM; Dynamis borassi; Cosmopolites sordidus; banana weevil
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Rhynchophorus ferrugineus or also known as red palm weevil (RPW) had caught the attention of government and researchers in Malaysia for its aggressive behaviour in attacking various palm species including coconut palm and date palm. To date, their presence was recorded in oil palm plantations in Terengganu, Malaysia by using pheromone mass trapping technique but no symptom of attack was detected up to now. The pheromone traps were filled with natural food baits such as sugar cane and pineapple, together with synthetic pheromone lure to attract the RPW entering the trap. However, the most preferred bait by the RPW still remained inconclusive. In this study, a Y-tube olfactometer experiment was conducted to identify the most preferred bait by the RPW under laboratory conditions. The result showed that pineapple was the most preferred bait by RPW compared to other treatments (F=20.44, d.f=7, p<0.05). The study showed that oil palm cabbage was the least preferred bait by RPW, indicating that the pest was less attracted to oil palm. However, their presence in the oil palm plantation recently gave us a warning that we need to be more cautious to ensure their populations will not jeopardise the oil palm industry in future.
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Urban areas landscaped with ornamental palms, especially Canary Islands date palms (Phoenix canariensis), are particularly vulnerable to incursion by invasive palm weevils, Rhynchophorus spp. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Metropolitan palmscapes are often resource rich in terms of palm species diversity and density, and these areas typically have numerous conduits (e.g., air, road, or sea transportation hubs) that assist with international and regional trade and tourism which can facilitate accidental or deliberate weevil introductions. Once established in urban areas, Rhynchophorus populations may be hard to suppress, from where they can expand their range and threaten agricultural commodities or native palms in wilderness areas. Here we review current knowledge about relationships between Rhynchophorus invasions and urban environments. Further research areas should be addressed to improve forecasts of invasion risks, and to complement management options for detection and control. We propose that greater attention be paid to quarantine restrictions on live palm movements and pro-active early detection and monitoring programs in areas deemed to be at high risk of invasion and establishment. In response to an incursion, we advocate the deployment of containment and eradication campaigns in urban zones when populations are small and highly localized.
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Threat of the Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) to Date Palm Plantations in North Africa J.R. Faleiro1 , A. Ben Abdallah2 , M. El-Bellaj3 , A.M. Al Ajlan3 and A. Oihabi4 (1) Arlem-Raia, Salcette, Goa-403 702, India; (2) FAO Project, National Date palm Research Centre, P.O. Box 43, Al Hassa 31982, Saudi Arabia; (3) Department of Arid Land Agriculture, College of Agricultural & Food Sciences, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 55009, Al Hassa 31982, Saudi Arabia; (4) Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, P.O. Box 558, Riyadh-11421, Saudi Arabia, Email: Abstract Faleiro, J.R., A. Ben Abdallah, M. El-Bellaj, A.M. Al Ajlan and A. Oihabi. 2012. Threat of the Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) to Date Palm Plantations in North Africa. Arab Journal of Plant Protection, 30: 274-280. The Maghreb region of North Africa comprising of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya accounts for 15% of the global date production. The region has tried to avoid attack of the red palm weevil (RPW) Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) until December, 2008, when RPW was reported from the Tangier region in Northern Morocco. This was remarkable considering that the region is in the vicinity of Egypt in Africa and Spain in Europe where RPW was reported in the mid 1990s. In addition to date palm, the region has several Canary Island Palms, one of the most preferred hosts of the weevil. Previous experiences from the Gulf region in the Middle-East and the Mediterranean countries have shown that RPW had spread rapidly through infested planting material transported mainly for ornamental purposes and date palm farming. RPW was detected from Morocco in December, 2008, in Libya (May, 2009) and in Tunisia (December, 2011) and is a potential threat to both date palm and Canary Island Palm in these countries. This paper describes its status as well as proposes a strategy to combat the threat of the spread of RPW in the region. Keywords: Red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, Maghreb region, Morocco, Libya, Tunisia
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The red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, invaded the Gulf states in the mid-1980s, where it is now causing severe damage to date palms. This polyphagous insect is widely found in southern Asia and Melanesia where it is a well-known problem for the damage it causes to coconuts grown in plantations. In this region, the weevil is sympatric with four other Asian Rhynchophorus species but the taxonomic status of some of these is unclear and some may be conspecific with the red palm weevil. Current tactics to manage the weevil in the Gulf and Asia are largely based on insecticide applications although there are now deep concerns about environmental pollution. Much research has been conducted on other techniques, notably pheromone traps. However, there is now a strong emphasis on the development of integrated pest management (IPM) based on pheromone traps and biological control rather than insecticides. Here we review the biogeography, basis of population outbreaks and current management tactics for the red palm weevil and related species, and then assess the potential of biological control to underpin the development of an IPM programme for it.
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The red palm weevil (RPW) Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is a palm borer native to South Asia, which has spread mainly due to the movement of crypti-cally infested planting material to the Middle East, Africa and the Mediterranean during the last two decades. Globally, the pest has a wide geographical distribution in diverse agro-climates and an extensive host range in Oceania, Asia, Africa and Europe. The RPW is reported to attack over 40 palm species belonging to 23 different genera worldwide. Although it was first reported as a pest of coconut (Cocos nuci­ fera) in South Asia, it has become the major pest of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), and the Canary Island date palm (CIDP) (P. canariensis) in the Middle East and Mediterranean basin, respectively. Recent invasions suggest that it is a potential threat to P. dactylifera plantations in the Maghreb region of North Africa and a vari-ety of palm species in the Caribbean, continen-tal USA and southern China. Strict pre-and post-entry quarantine regulations have been put in place by some countries to prevent fur-ther spread of this highly destructive pest. Early detection of RPW-infested palms is cru-cial to avoid death of palms and is the key to the success of any Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy adopted to combat this pest. Because signs and symptoms of RPW infestat-ion are only clearly visible during the later stages of attack, efforts to develop early-detection devices are being undertaken. Once infested by RPW, palms are difficult to manage and often die because of the cryptic habits of this pest. However, in the early stages of attack palms can recover after treatment with insecti-cides. IPM strategies, including field sanitation, agronomic practices, chemical and biological controls and the use of semiochemicals both for adult monitoring and mass trapping, have been developed and implemented in several coun-tries. This chapter summarizes the research developed during the last century on different aspects of the RPW, including latest findings on its bio logy, taxonomy, geographic distribu-tion, economic impact and management, and prevention options.
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The invasive Red Palm Weevil (RPW), Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier), is native to southern Asia and Melanesia. In 1985, this pest was accidentally introduced and established in the northern United Arab Emirates and has become widespread in that country. It spread to Iran, Savaran region, in 1990 and Egypt in 1993. In the same year, the weevil crossed into Europe, at first into southern Spain and a decade later into Italy (Longo and Tamburino 2005), many southern European countries, and Turkey. Recently, the RPW was detected in the Dutch Antillies and California, USA.
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Despite substantial increases in public awareness and biosecurity systems, introductions of non-native arthropods remain an unwelcomed consequence of escalating rates of international trade and travel. Detection of an established but unwanted non-native organism can elicit a range of responses, including implementation of an eradication program. Previous studies have reviewed the concept of eradication, but these efforts were largely descriptive and focused on selected case studies. We developed a Global Eradication and Response DAtabase (“GERDA”) to facilitate an analysis of arthropod eradication programs and determine the factors that influence eradication success and failure. We compiled data from 672 arthropod eradication programs targeting 130 non-native arthropod species implemented in 91 countries between 1890 and 2010. Important components of successful eradication programs included the size of the infested area, relative detectability of the target species, method of detection, and the primary feeding guild of the target species. The outcome of eradication efforts was not determined by program costs, which were largely driven by the size of the infestation. The availability of taxon-specific control tools appeared to increase the probability of eradication success. We believe GERDA, as an online database, provides an objective repository of information that will play an invaluable role when future eradication efforts are considered.
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ABSTRACT The orientation of combs in traditional beehives is extremely important for obtaininga marketable honey product. However, the factors that could determine comb orientation in tradi-tional hives and the possibilities of inducing honey bees, Apis mellifera (L.), to construct moredesirable combs have not been investigated. The goal of this experiment was to determine whetherguide marks in traditional hives can induce bees to build combs of a desired orientation. Thirty-twotraditional hives of uniform dimensions were used in the experiment. In 24 hives, ridges were formedon the inner surfaces of the hives with fermented mud to obtain different orientations, circular,horizontal, and spiral, with eight replicates of each treatment. In the remaining eight control hives,the inner surface was left smooth. Thirty-two well-established honey bee colonies from other tradi-tional hives were transferred to the prepared hives. The colonies were randomly assigned to thefour treatment groups. The manner of comb construction in the donor and experimental hives \wasrecorded. The results showed that22(91.66%)of the24 colonies in the treated groups built combs along the ridges provided, whereas only 2 (8.33%) did not. Comb orientation was strongly associated with thetype of guide marks provided. Moreover, of the 18 colonies that randomly fell to patterns different fromthose of their previous nests, 17 (94.4%) followed the guide marks provided, irrespective of the comborientationtypeintheirpreviousnest.Thus,comborientationappearstobegovernedbytheinnersurfacepatternofthenestcavity.TheresultssuggestthateveninÞxed-combhives,honeybeescanbeguidedtobuild combs with orientations suitable to honey harvesting, without affecting the colonies.
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The red palm weevil (RPW) is a major pest of palms. It is native to southeast Asia and Melanesia, but in recent decades has vastly expanded its range as the result of multiple accidental anthropogenic introductions into the Middle East, Mediterranean Basin, Caribbean, and U.S.A. Currently regarded as a single species, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier), RPW displays remarkable color variation across its range, and consequently has a taxonomic history littered with new species descriptions and synonymization. We compared DNA sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene from RPW populations throughout the native and invaded ranges, to investigate the specific status and invasion history of this serious economic pest, and to identify possible common routes of entry. Analyses of COI haplotype data provide conclusive support, corroborated by sequences of additional nuclear gene regions, for the existence of at least two predominantly allopatric species. The true R. ferrugineus is native only to the northern and western parts of continental southeast Asia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, and is responsible for almost all invasive populations worldwide. In contrast, the second species, which is currently synonymized under R. ferrugineus and should be resurrected under the name R. vulneratus (Panzer), has a more southern distribution across Indonesia, and is responsible for only one invasive population; that in California, U.S.A. The distribution of COI haplotypes is used to discuss the possible existence of further cryptic species, sources and routes of entry of different invasive populations, and the implications of our findings for current control methods.
This book highlights studies on potential invasive pests, focusing on pests from South America, Central America and the islands of the Caribbean basin. These include the Coleopterans, followed by the Lepidopterans. The importance of several dipterans is also treated. Tephritid fruit flies are addressed, as well as a novel method for improved detection of Anastrepha larval infestation in citrus fruit. This section also presents preliminary information on gall midge pests and the recent invasions of Acarina in South America. The Hemiptera section covers basic knowledge of the passionvine mealybug Planococcus minor , the citrus orthezia Praelongorthezia praelonga , and recent invaders such as whiteflies, together with a description of potential invasive armored scales into the USA and the Caribbean region, and techniques to determine their likelihood for establishment. The last section includes analysis of the effect of alien species on native species and communities through herbivory, predation or parasitism. This is followed by addressing the likelihood of establishment following introductions of diaspidid scales into the USA. Inductive and deductive approaches in the modelling of insect pests and the risk of establishment and expansion are also discussed.
Morphological, molecular-genetic and breeding data were collected to investigate the species status of the Asian palm weevils, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier) and R. vulneratus (Panzer) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). These weevils are distinguished by characteristic colouring of the pronota and elytra, but naturally occurring colour intermorphs were observed. Contrary to the literature, quantitative measurements of the concavity of subgenal sutures and of pronotal shape indicated no differences between the two species. Larvae did not differ significantly in labral characteristics. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) banding patterns were identical for nine of 14 primers, indicating that these weevils are very closely related. Sequences of the cytochrome oxidase gene for 201 base pairs read were identical for R. ferrugineus and R. vulneratus, but the congener R. bilineatus differed from them by 10%, suggesting divergence of these lineages about 5 million years ago. Hybrid F1s were obtained from all heterospecific crosses, and one surviving hybrid F1 female produced viable eggs. Previous studies have revealed no pheromonal differences. On the basis of this evidence, R. ferrugineus and R. vulneratus should be considered colour morphs of the same species and be synonymized under the name Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Olivier), with the common name Asian palm weevil.