Beetle | Anomala ausonia

California Pest Rating for
Beetle | Anomala ausonia Erichson
Pest Rating: A


Initiating Event:

Anomala ausonia Erichson is currently Q-rated.  A permanent pest rating proposal is required to support an official pest rating.

History & Status:

Background:  Adult Anomala ausonia are metallic green beetles approximately one half of an inch in length.  They feed on the leaves and fruit.  The larvae are whitish, C-shaped grubs that live in the soil and feed on roots and possibly organic matter as well (Ritcher, 1958).  Adult feeding causes serious damage to grapevines in Spain.  Olive trees are also reported to be attacked by larvae, but this damage is apparently not as significant (Alvarado et al., 1996). This beetle is reported to be present in coastal and riparian areas in France and Italy, sometimes in abundance (Contarini, 1990; Paulian, 1941).

Worldwide Distribution:  Anomala ausonia is present in Mediterranean Europe (France, Italy, and Spain) (Alvarado et al., 1996; Contarini, 1990; Schaeffer, 1959).  This beetle is not known to have been introduced elsewhere.  A specimen was caught outside in New Jersey in 1964, but apparently this species did not become established in the United States (New Jersey Department of Agriculture, 1965).

Official Control: Anomala ausonia is not known to be under official control anywhere.

California Distribution:  Anomala ausonia is not known to be present in California.

California Interceptions:  One dead specimen was found in a trailer from Canada at a border station (PDR # 1214299).

The risk Anomala ausonia would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction:

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Anomala ausonia is native to Mediterranean Europe. The species has been reported to feed on grapevines and olive, and it likely feeds on other plants as well.  The climate of California would be ideal for A. ausonia, and grapes, a major host plant of the species, are cultivated in a large portion of the state.  Anomala ausonia is likely capable of establishing a widespread distribution in California.  Therefore, this species receives a High (3) in this category.

– Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

– Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

– High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Anomala ausonia has been reported to feed on olive trees and grapevines, representing two families of plants. The beetle likely feeds on other plants as well in natural (non-agricultural) areas in its native range.  Therefore, it receives a Medium (2) in this category.

– Low (1) has a very limited host range.

– Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

– High (3) has a wide host range.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Anomala ausonia presumably flies, and could possibly be artificially dispersed through transport of infested, potted plants, which has been suggested as a possible mode of introduction for other Anomala species (CABI, 2017).  Therefore, it receives a Medium (2) in this category.

– Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

– Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

– High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

4) Economic Impact: Anomala ausonia has been reported to cause significant damage to grapes as a result of adults feeding on leaves.  Grapes are a major crop in California, and an infestation could be expected to lower crop yield and increase production costs.  It could also lead to a loss of markets.  Therefore, it receives a High (3) in this category.

Economic Impact:  A, B, C

A. The pest could lower crop yield.

B. The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C. The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D. The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E. The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F. The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G. The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

Economic Impact Score: 3

– Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

– Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

– High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

5) Environmental Impact: If A. ausonia became established in California, it could become a pest in vineyards and possibly other situations, including olive groves and ornamental plantings, which could trigger treatment programs. This beetle could also impact vegetation (and disrupt natural communities) in California ecosystems, including riparian areas, where this species is known to occur in Europe.  Therefore, it receives a High (3) in this category.

Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

Environmental Impact:  A, D, E

A. The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B. The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C. The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D. The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E. The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact.

Environmental Impact Score: 3

– Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

– Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

– High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Anomala ausonia: Medium (13)

Add up the total score and include it here.

–Low = 5-8 points

–Medium = 9-12 points

–High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Anomala ausonia is not known to be present in California. It receives a Not established (0) in this category.

–Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

–Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

–Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

–High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Final Score:

The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: Medium (12)


While there is little doubt that A. ausonia could become established in California, no information was found suggesting that this species has been introduced anywhere, which makes it difficult to predict its pest potential.  There are plants and ecosystems in California that A. ausonia has not been exposed to in its native range, and the organisms that limit its population size in its native range are likely not present in California.  Thus, if this beetle was introduced to California, it could have significant impacts in certain areas.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Anomala ausonia is a plant-feeding scarab beetle that belongs to a genus with demonstrated pest potential.  California appears to be an ideal place for the establishment of this Mediterranean species.  If this beetle became established in California, it could impact agriculture (including grapes and olives), ornamental plantings, and the environment.   For these reasons, an “A” rating is justified.


Alvarado, M., Serrano, A., & Durán y de La Rosa, J.M.  1996.  Problemática de los gusanos blancos (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae) en el olivar de la provincia de Sevilla.  Boletín de Sanidad Vegetal Plagas.  22: 319-328.

CABI.  2017.  Invasive Species Compendium. Wallingford, UK: CAB International.  Accessed 2 January 2018.

Contarini, E.  1992.  Eco-profili D’Ambiente della Coleotterofauna di Romagna: 4-Arenile, duna e retroduna della costa Adriatica.  Bollettino del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Venezia.  41: 131-182.

New Jersey Department of Agriculture.  1965.  50th Annual Report of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture.  230 pp.

Paulian, R.  1941.  Faune de France.  38.  Coléoptères Scarabéides.  Paul Lechevalier et Fils.  Paris, France.  239 pp.

Ritcher, P.O.  1958.  Biology of Scarabaeidae.  Annual Review of Entomology.  3: 311-334.

Schaefer, L.  1959.  Contribution à la connaissance des coléoptères des Pyrénées-orientales.  Bulletin mensuel de la Société linnéenne de Lyon.  28(7): 222-235.

Symbiota Collections of Arthropods Network.  Accessed 3 January 2018.


Kyle Beucke, 1220 N Street, Room 221, Sacramento, CA, 95814, 916-403-6741;[@]

Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 2800 Gateway Oaks, Sacramento CA 95833, (916) 654-1211,[@]

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4/19/18 – 6/3/18


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Pest Rating: A

Posted by ls