Burnt pine longicorn surveillance in eastern Australia

Deborah Kent *1, Ross Rickard 2, Elaine Tou 2

1 NSW Department of Primary Industries, Biosecurity Research, West Pennant Hills, NSW, Australia
2 AQIS, Operational Science Program Entomology, Rosebery, NSW, Australia

Arhopalus ferus (Mulsant) or Burnt pine longicorn (BPL) beetle, a native of Europe, became widely established in New Zealand in the 1970’s. In recent years, BPL has been repeatedly intercepted in increasing numbers on container vessels, navy vessels and cruise ships arriving at eastern Australian ports from New Zealand. BPL is absent from Australia but if it were to become established it is likely to be a high-impact pest species.A joint New South Wales Department of Primary Industries and Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service surveillance operation was initiated in Sydney in February 2010 after a container vessel from New Zealand arrived with high numbers of BPL on-board. As a result, ten traps were deployed for two months in Sydney ports. Surveillance recommenced in early 2011, with twenty five traps deployed in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong ports for three months. Traps used beetle-specific attractants derived from pine tree volatiles and were monitored fortnightly with the attractants being replenished monthly. A limited number of traps were also deployed around Brisbane and Melbourne ports.The capture of two BPL beetles during the surveillance demonstrated that the traps were effective. In addition, another species already present in Australia, Arhopalus syriacus (Reitter), was trapped five times. As a bonus to the trapping operation a wide range of species were also recorded as by-catch with bark beetles particularly well represented. Even though no exotic bark beetles were collected, the genera represented did include those known to have exotic species currently absent from Australia.

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