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Research article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Distribution of the invasive ambrosia beetle Anisandrus maiche (Coleoptera, Scolytinae) in Switzerland and first record in Europe of its ambrosia fungus Ambrosiella cleistominuta

Ribeiro-Correia, Jose P.; Prospero, Simone; Beenken, Ludwig; Biedermann, Peter H. W.; Blaser, Simon; Branco, Manuela; Chittaro, Yannick; Frey, David; Holling, Doris; OliviaKaya, Sezer; Knizek, Milos; Mittelstrass, Jana; Ruffner, Beat; Sanchez, Andreas; Brockerhoff, Eckehard G.


Ambrosia beetles are highly successful as invaders because they are often transported internationally with wood packaging and other wood products and because their inbreeding mating systems facilitates establishment of invading populations. In 2022, two independent insect surveys in canton Ticino (southern Switzerland) revealed the widespread occurrence of the invasive ambrosia beetle Anisandrus maiche (Kurentzov, 1941) from southern to central-upper Ticino. This species is native to east Asia and has previously been found as a non-native invasive species in the United States, Canada, western Russia, Ukraine and, in 2021, in northern Italy. Here, we present the results of several trapping studies using different trap types (bottle traps, funnel traps and Polytrap intercept traps) and attractants and a map of the distribution of the species. In total, 715 specimens of A. maiche, all female, were trapped, and the identity of selected individuals was confirmed by morphological and molecular identification based on three mitochondrial and nuclear markers (COI, 28S and CAD). Trap samples from early April to early September 2022 in intervals of two to four weeks showed that flights ofA. maiche occurred mainly from June to mid-August. Isolation of fungal associates ofA. maiche from beetles trapped alive revealed the presence of four fungal species, including the ambrosia fungus Ambrosiella cleistominuta, the known mutualist ofA. maiche. The identity ofA. cleistominuta was confirmed by comparing DNA sequences of its nuclear, internal transcribed spacer (ITS) gene with reference sequences in NCBI and BOLDSYSTEMS. This represents the first record of A. cleistominuta in Europe. Of the other fungal associates isolated from A. maiche in Ticino, Fusarium lateritium is of note as there is a possibility that A. maiche could act as a vector of this plant pathogen. We highlight several research needs that should be addressed to gain insight into the potential impact of these non-native species and to overcome problems with heteroplasmy in COI sequences in studies of invasion and population genetics of ambrosia beetles.


Bark and ambrosia beetles; biological invasions; Ceratocystidaceae; Curculionidae; detection; surveillance

Published in

Alpine Entomology
2024, Volume: 8, pages: 35-49 Publisher: PENSOFT PUBLISHERS

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