MADRID – A new invasive species, in the shape of a beetle, has reached Europe. Researchers in Spain discovered the originally Asian beetle species and are now calling for urgent measures.
A recently published article in the International Biodiversity Data Journal shows that a new invasive beetle species has found its way to Spain. Scientist Carlos R. de Queros, a member of the Entomology Society from Rome, together with three fellow researchers, report in the article about the disturbing presence of this insect in Europe.
Sightings of this beetle, which is considered a pest in China, have been reported in both Spain and Greece. The insect damages trees. Therefore, this discovery has raised concerns within the European research community.
The discovered beetle species belongs to the longhorn beetle family and bears the scientific name Olenecamptus bilobus. Specimens of this beetle have been found in the area of the Spanish village of Les Salades (Alicante) and on the Greek island of Lemos. At both locations, it could not be determined where the beetle came from. However, the researchers suspect that the import of exotic plants is the possible cause. They therefore urge international cooperation and the introduction of measures to prevent the uncontrolled spread of this new invasive beetle. “The discovery of this species shows that some beetles are systematically slipping past existing controls. It is therefore important to be alert to the unintentional admission of exotic species into Europe.”
No specific measures
According to the ABC newspaper, no warning or quarantine has yet been announced on the European continent, as is the case in China. There are no specific measures to combat this insect species. However, it is advisable to remove them immediately as soon as you see them and also to destroy all affected plants. Early identification of this beetle is essential to prevent adverse effects on local plants. The larvae of these beetles usually bore in the wood of the artocarpus, ficus, and mulberry. Once adults, they then eat the bark and leaves.