Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Keeping up with Invasive Species

picture right: red palm weevil:
Image may be subject to copyright.

picture left: red palm mite:
Image may be subject to copyright.

Browsing through Phytophthora ramorum S. Werres, A.W.A.M. de Cock, sometime referred to as sudden oak death, and Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, always known as emerald ash borer, looking for homeland commonality, I tripped over this invasive species alert - red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus Oliver, and thought it was this, of which I previously wrote, red palm mite, Raoiella indica Hirst, a pest of several important ornamental and fruit-producing palm species, recently invaded the Western Hemisphere and is in the process of colonizing islands in the Caribbean.[1] But no, it is something new, heading towards our southern coast.
picture left: sudden oak death:
Image may be subject to copyright

The red palm weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, was found on the island of Curacao in the Dutch Antilles, marking the first record of this pest in the western hemisphere. The pest is suspected to have arrived through the movement of date palms used for landscaping.

Rhynchophorus ferrugineus causes significant damage to a wide variety of palm species including Phoenix dactylifera (date palm), Cocos nucifera (coconut palm), Elaeis guineensis (oil palm), and Metroxylon sagu (sago palm). This beetle originates from southern Asia and Melanesia, and has been spreading westward since the 1980s (Ferry & Gómez, 2002). Larvae feed on soft tissues and terminal buds of hosts and with serious infestations can cause plant death. In February 2007, we reported detections of this weevil in France, Greece, and Italy from both nurseries and public and private gardens.”[2]
picture right: emerald ash
Image may be subject to copyright.

Alright all together now, which have six legs, which have eight and which have none?
Monday, March 02, 2009,
Phytophthora ramorum funding, for invasive species eradication, elminated

[1] Authors: Marjorie A. Hoy and Jorge Peña, University of Florida; and Ru Nguyen, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry:
[2] Phytosanitary Alert System, , Pest Alert, Prepared on: 01/30/2009:

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