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Turkish Journal of Zoology

Turk J Zool
(2016) 40: 286-289


Short Communication

First record of the grape cane borer, Amphicerus bimaculatus (Olivier, 1790)
(Coleoptera: Bostrichidae), on pomegranate in Greece
1, ,


Stefanos S. ANDREADIS * **, Emmanouel I. NAVROZIDIS *, Stylianos KATERINIS

Chemical Ecology Lab, Department of Entomology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA
Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Sindos, Greece
Adamantiou Korai 8, Filyro, Greece
Received: 26.05.2015

Accepted: 02.10.2015

Published Online: 05.02.2016

Abstract: Discoloration of the leaves of unhealthy pomegranate trees, caused by the Coleopteran species Amphicerus bimaculatus
(Olivier, 1790), was found in a newly planted pomegranate orchard in April 2011 in northern Greece (Vrontou area). Identification of
the species was based on morphological characteristics. This report is the first record of A. bimaculatus in Greece infesting pomegranate
Key words: Amphicerus bimaculatus, pomegranate trees, damage, first record, Greece

Pomegranate, Punica granatum L., is a deciduous

fruit tree cultivated in Greece since ancient times for
both nutritional and medicinal purposes. The main
regions where pomegranates are cultivated include the
Aegean Islands, Crete, the Peloponnese, Central Greece,
and Central Macedonia (Pontikis, 1987). Traditionally,
pomegranates were cultivated more for household use
than commercial use. However, in recent years cultivation
of pomegranates has gained more and more importance
in terms of economic significance. In recent years, new
plantations have been established in several areas, mainly
in the regions of East and Central Macedonia, covering a
total area of more than 1500 ha (Drogoudi et al., 2012).
Nevertheless, relatively little is known about the pests of
pomegranates in Greece (Tsagkarakis, 2012).
Within a pomegranate orchard in the area of Vrontou
(4211N, 2226E) of Central Macedonia (northern
Greece) (Figure 1), we observed in April 2011 several
unhealthy trees with most of their branches having red
discolored leaves. Moreover, round holes (about 0.30.4
cm in diameter) and packed frass or bore dust were visible
at the base of these branches near the buds (Figure 2A).
Samples of these branches were collected and placed in
plastic bags (50 50 cm), which were afterwards shipped
* These authors contributed equally to this work.
** Correspondence: ssa18@psu.edu


or carried to the laboratory within 2 h. In order to avoid

exposure to high temperatures, plastic bags were carried
in a cooler (approximately 15 C). A layer of newspaper
was used to prevent direct contact of the plastic bags with
the ice packs at the bottom of the cooler. As soon as they
were transferred to the laboratory, they were placed into
ventilated wooden cages (30 30 30 cm) at 25 1 C
and 70 10% relative humidity, with a photoperiod of 16:8
h (L:D). Examination of the branches under a microscope
revealed that the branches were infested by adults of an
unrecognized beetle species forming galleries inside the
bark. These specimens were subsequently identified, based
on morphological characteristics, as the grape cane borer,
Amphicerus bimaculatus (Olivier, 1790). This is the first
record of A. bimaculatus attacking pomegranate trees in
Greece. So far A. bimaculatus was reported only on grapes
in Greece (Navrozidis and Andreadis, 2012).
The grape cane borer is a univoltine species. Adults
are 1.11.8 cm long, cylindrical, and uniformly black
or brownish black, with the antennae, palpi, and tarsi
brownish or brownish yellow (Figures 2B and 2C)
(Navrozidis and Andreadis, 2012). The head is relatively
small and completely covered by the large pronotum. The
basal half of the pronotal lateral margins are covered with

ANDREADIS et al. / Turk J Zool

Figure 1. Satellite photo of the study area. Red pin points to the Vrontou area, where the pomegranate
orchard is situated (Copyright 2015 Google; Image Copyright 2015 CNES/Astrium). In the smaller map of
Greece, the Pieria prefecture is marked in red color (Copyright Wikipedia).

patterns of long, recumbent white hairs (Figure 2B). Pupae

are ~0.9 cm long, uncovered, and whitish (Figures 2D and
2E). Larvae are typical for a bostrichid (Figure 2F).
It is native to Europe, mainly distributed throughout
the Mediterranean Basin (Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Israel,
Italy, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Syria,
Tunisia, Turkey), but also reported in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria,
Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Romania,
Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and the
United States (Khalilov, 1972; Halperin and Damoiseau,
1980; Borowski and Wegrzynowicz, 2007; Lbl and
Smetana, 2007; Mason et al., 2010; Baena and Zuzarte,
2013; Nardi and Mifsud, 2015).
The grape cane borer is a polyphagous insect. Host
plants of this species are Acacia sp., Vitis vinifera, Ficus
carica, Malus domestica, Cerasus sp., Lycium sp., Prunus
amygdalus, Citrus sp., P. granatum, Delonix regia, and

Tamarix sp., among others (Balachowsky, 1962; Akit et. al.,

2005; ztrk and Ulusoy, 2009; Nardi and Mifsud, 2015).
While it is usually feeding on dry, injured, or dying plant
material, causing substantial damage, adults will also attack
living, healthy tissues by boring round holes near the buds.
As a result plants will begin to wilt, droop, and start to die,
classifying this insect as an economically significant pest.
Young and stressed trees are more susceptible than mature
and healthy ones. Moreover, infested twigs and branches are
less viable or more prone to mechanical injury.
Control of this species relies on application of
preventive measures against the overwintering adults
prior to mating and oviposition. This includes monitoring
of the species early in the season prior to the bud break
growth stage of the trees for detection and precise
insecticide applications. Moreover, sanitation is highly
suggested by pruning and destroying infested, dried,
damaged, or pruned twigs/branches (Moleas, 1988) as


ANDREADIS et al. / Turk J Zool



Figure 2. Amphicerus bimaculatus. A) Infested branch with a hole near a bud and extruded bore
dust or frass; (B) male, dorsal view; (C) female, inside a branch; (D) uncovered pupa; (E) pupa,
within a gallery; (F) flat-heated larva removed from its gallery.
well as application of efficient exclusion measures such as
the use of barriers for minimizing the movement of the
pest from alternating hosts or neighboring pomegranate
orchards. Furthermore, trees must be maintained in a


healthy condition and properly irrigated and fertilized.

A better understanding of the biology and habits of this
pest in the area of Central Macedonia is essential and will
contribute greatly to its efficient management.

ANDREADIS et al. / Turk J Zool

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