Eur. J. Entomol. 107 (3): 357-367, 2010 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2010.045

Aproceros leucopoda (Hymenoptera: Argidae): An East Asian pest of elms (Ulmus spp.) invading Europe

Stephan M. BLANK1, Hideho HARA2, József MIKULÁS3, György CSÓKA4, Constantin CIORNEI5, Raoul CONSTANTINEANU6, Irinel CONSTANTINEANU6, Ladislav ROLLER7, Ewald ALTENHOFER8, Tomasz HUFLEJT9, Gábor VÉTEK10
1 Senckenberg Deutsches Entomologisches Institut, Eberswalder Str. 90, 15374 Müncheberg, Germany; e-mail: sblank@senckenberg.de
2 Forestry Research Institute, Hokkaido Research Organization, Bibai, Hokkaido; Japan 079-0198; e-mail: hara-hideho@hro.or.jp
3 Corvinus University of Budapest, Research Institute for Viticulture and Enology, Urihegy 5/a, 6000 Kecskemét; Hungary, e-mail: jozsef@mikulas.net
4 Forest Research Institute, Department of Forest Protection, P.O.Box 2, 3232 Mátrafüred, Hungary; e-mail: csokagy@erti.hu
5 Forest Research and Management Institute, Stefan Cel Mare Street 28, Bacau, Romania ; e-mail: ciorneitinel@yahoo.com
6 Biological Research Institute, Lascar Catargi 47, 700107 Iaúi, Romania; e-mail: racon38@yahoo.com, irinaconstantineanu@yahoo.com
7 Slovak Academy of Sciences, Institute of Zoology, Dúbravská cesta 9, 845 06 Bratislava, Slovakia; e-mail: uzaeroll@savba.sk
8 Etzen 39, 3920 Groß Gerungs, Austria; e-mail: ealtenhofer@everymail.net
9 Polish Academy of Sciences, Museum and Institute of Zoology, Wilcza 64, 00-679 Warszawa, Poland; e-mail: thuflejt@miiz.waw.pl
10 Corvinus University of Budapest, Faculty of Horticultural Science, Department of Entomology, Villanyi út 29-43, 1118 Budapest, Hungary; e-mail: gabor.vetek@uni-corvinus.hu

An invasive sawfly Aproceros leucopoda Takeuchi, 1939, which originates from East Asia, has colonized elms (Ulmus spp.) in Austria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the Ukraine, at least since 2003. In Europe, the larvae can completely defoliate native and non-native elm trees and may cause at least partial dieback. Field observations indicate that elms are infested independent of their age and site characteristics. The life cycle of A. leucopoda is described based on material reared in Hokkaido, Japan. Parthenogenetic reproduction, short life cycle of summer generations and the ability to produce four generations per year result in the production of numerous progeny. The evolution of a seasonal dimorphism in head morphology, a simple cocoon that is attached directly to the host plant and a short period spent in the cocoon stage during summer, are putative apomorphies shared by Aproceros Takeuchi, 1939 and Aprosthema Konow, 1899. These traits reduce developmental costs and contribute to the proliferation of A. leucopoda. No specialized parasitoid, that can effectively reduce outbreaks of this species, is known. It is likely that this pest will spread into central and south-western Europe. Further monitoring of A. leucopoda is required to assess future range extensions in Europe, its exacerbating effect on Dutch elm disease and to find a suitable biocontrol agent. Concise keys to imaginal and larval stages are presented that will facilitate the identification of A. leucopoda.

Keywords: Argidae, Aproceros leucopoda, sawfly, Ulmus, Europe, invasive species, pest species, identification, bionomy, dispersal, Dutch elm disease

Received: December 22, 2009; Accepted: March 11, 2010; Published: July 20, 2010

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