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Lesser auger beetle Heterobostrychus aequalis(Coleoptera: Bostrichidae) in Australia: absent or elusive?

Wylie, F Ross and Peters, Brenton C (2016) Lesser auger beetle Heterobostrychus aequalis(Coleoptera: Bostrichidae) in Australia: absent or elusive? Austral Entomology, 55 (3). pp. 330-333. ISSN 2052174X

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/aen.12189

Abstract

The lesser auger beetle, Heterobostrychus aequalis (Waterhouse), is a serious pest of seasoned hardwood timber throughout the Oriental region and several areas beyond. Some early collection records of H. aequalis from Australia in the 1950s and 1960s indicated that the insect was present in northern Queensland, but no confirmed breeding population has been found in the past few decades suggesting either that it may have not established permanently or it is difficult to detect. The ambiguity about the breeding status of the pest in Australia has caused confusion for regulating authorities needing to respond to each new post-border detection. We examined records of H. aequalis in Australian insect collections and from intensive plant pest surveillance activities in Queensland and northern Australia over the past 48 years to resolve this confusion. Until very recently, available evidence suggested that H. aequalis was not established in Australia, despite multiple introductions and apparently suitable climate and hosts. Collection records of the pest are predominantly linked to intercepted items or are recorded as of unknown origin, and no established populations have been found during many years of targeted surveillance. However, a detection of H. aequalis in suburban Cairns, north Queensland, in late 2013 and two more in mid-2015 in the same general locality do not appear to be linked to any imported material, indicating that there is at least a tenuously established local population. Investigations are underway to confirm this, but the insect is not widely established in Australia and, if present, remains elusive. Our recommended response to any future detection of H. aequalis is to fumigate or destroy the infested material, conduct tracing enquiries and limit surveys to the immediate vicinity of the detection.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:collection record, quarantine, seasoned hardwood timber, surveillance.
Subjects:Science > Entomology
Plant pests and diseases
Forestry > Research. Experimentation
Deposited On:21 Mar 2016 03:42
Last Modified:11 Jan 2017 02:49

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