Longhorned Beetle | Plagionotus arcuatus (Linnaeus)

Longhorned Beetle | Plagionotus arcuatus
Giedrius Markevicius, Lithuanian Entomological Society, Bugwood.org
California Pest Rating for
Longhorned Beetle | Plagionotus arcuatus (Linnaeus)
Coleoptera: Cerambycidae
Pest Rating: A




Initiating Event:

Plagionotus arcuatus is currently Q-rated.  A permanent pest rating proposal is required to support an official pest rating.

History & Status:

Background:  Adult Plagionotus arcuatus (P. arcuatus) are 9-20 mm in length and black with yellow bands and spots (Lazarev, 2010). The biology of this species does not appear to be well-studied.  The larvae live in dead (reports suggest the wood has usually been dead for only several months) wood of deciduous trees, including Carpinus, Castanea, Fagus, Prunus, Robinia, Salix, and Quercus spp.  Reports suggest that this beetle attacks wood that is relatively fresh (i.e., dead, but recently-killed), perhaps several months old (Barševskis and Savenkov, 2013; Faggi et al., 2010; Ilić and Ćurčić, 2013; Jonsell, 2008; Sama et al., 2005; Vodka, 2007).  Escherich (1916) reported that this damage lowers the value of oak timber.  No evidence was found suggesting that P. arcuatus attacks living trees.  Other species of Plagionotus also appear to be restricted to dead trees, although Moraal and Hilszczanski (2000) suggested that one or more species in the genus may have contributed to the death of oak trees in Poland.

Worldwide Distribution:  Plagionotus arcuatus has been reported from northern Africa (including Libya), central Asia, the Caucasus (including Georgia and Armenia), Europe (including Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Macedonia, Spain, Serbia, and Sweden), Iran, Syria, and Turkey (Barševskis and Savenkov, 2013; Faggi et al., 2010; Georgiev and Hubenov, 2006; Ilić and Ćurčić, 2013; Jonsell, 2008; Keszthelyi, 2015; Özdikmen, 2014; Peña, 2002; Plewa et al., 2015).

Official Control: Plagionotus arcuatus is not known to be under official control anywhere.

California Distribution:  Plagionotus arcuatus is not known to be present in California (Symbiota Collections of Arthropods Network).

California Interceptions:  Plagionotus arcuatus was intercepted on dunnage that was suspected to have come from Europe in 1996 (CDFA Pest and Damage Report Database, 2018).

The risk Plagionotus arcuatus would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction:

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Plagionotus arcuatus is widely distributed and is found in areas with a range of temperate climates, including Mediterranean. The species feeds on a variety of deciduous trees, including the genera Prunus and Quercus, which are widely distributed in California.  The species is likely to become established over a large portion of California.  Therefore, arcuatus 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: Plagionotus arcuatus is reported to feed on at least seven genera from five different families of deciduous trees. Therefore, it receives a High (3) 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: Plagionotus arcuatus can presumably fly.  This beetle can also disperse through movement of firewood, as shown by the interception of multiple living adults in firewood on the island of Majorca (Díaz-Calafut et al., 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: Plagionotus arcuatus attacks recently-cut wood and was reported to reduce the quality of oak timber.  Avoiding damage from this beetle may require changes in the timing of timber harvest.  Forest product (including timber) sales in California totaled $1.4 billion in 2012 (McIver et al., 2015).  Therefore, it receives a Medium (2) in this category.

Economic Impact:  B, D

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:  2

– 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 Plagionotus arcuatus became established in California, it could possibly compete with native beetles that live in and feed on recently-dead wood. Therefore, it receives a Medium (2) in this category.

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

Environmental Impact: A

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.

Environmental Impact Score:  2

– 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 Plagionotus arcuatus: Medium (11)

–Low = 5-8 points

–Medium = 9-12 points

–High = 13-15 points

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Plagionotus arcuatus 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:

7) The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: Medium (11)


One report suggests that species in the genus Plagionotus may be capable of attacking living trees (Moraal and Hilszczanski, 2000).  If so, P. arcuatus may be capable of attacking living trees and the potential impacts of it in California would be greater than considered in this proposal.  However, if this species was capable of inflicting significant damage to living trees, it seems likely that this damage would have been recognized, considering its wide distribution and host range.

Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Plagionotus arcuatus is not known to be present in California.  Although it is only known to attack dead trees, it could lower the value of cut timber and thus poses a threat to the timber industry of California.  For these reasons, an “A” rating is justified.


Barševskis A., and Savenkov, N.  2013.  Contribution to the knowledge of long-horned beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in Latvia.  Baltic Journal of Coleopterology 13:91-102.

CDFA Pest and Damage Report Database.  2018.  Plagionotus arcuatus.  Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services. CA Department of Food and Agriculture.  Accessed March 19, 2018: https://pdr.cdfa.ca.gov/PDR/pdrmainmenu.aspx

Escherich, K.  1916.  Clytus arcuatus L. (Cerambycide) als schlimmer technischer Eichenschädling.  Naturwissenschaftliche Zeitschrift für Land- und Forstwirtschaft 14:272-273.

Faggi, M., Nappini, S., and Biscaccianti, A. B.  2010.  Studies on longhorn beetles (Coleoptera Cerambycidae) of the Monte Ruffino Nature Reserve and Bosco del Sasseto Natural Monument (Lazio, Central Italy).  Journal of Zoology 93:31-45.

Georgiev, G., and Hubenov, Z.  2006.  Vertical Distribution and Zoogeographical Characteristics of Cerambycidae (Coleoptera) Family in Bulgaria.  Acta Zoologica Bulgarica 58:315-343.

Ilić, N., and Ćurčić, S.  2013.  The longhorn beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) of Rtanj Mountain (Serbia).  Acta Entomologica Serbica 18:69-04.

Jonsell, M.  2008.  Saproxylic beetle species in logging residues: Which are they and which residues do they use?  Norwegian Journal of Entomology 55:109-122.

Keszthelyi, S.  2015.  Diversity and seasonal patterns of longhorn beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in the Zselic region, Hungary. North-Western Journal of Zoology 11:62-69.

Lazarev, M. A.  2010.  New subspecies of Plagionotus arcuatus (Linnaeus, 1758) from Transcaucasia and Kyrgyzstan (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae).  Studies and Reports, Taxonomical Series 6:149-164.

Moraal, L. G., and Hilszczanski, J.  2000.  The oak buprestid beetle, Agrilus biguttatus (F.) (Col., Buprestidae), a recent factor in oak decline in Europe.  Anzeiger für Schädlingskunde 73:134-138.

McIver, C. P., Meek, J. P., Scudder, M. G., Sorenson, C. B., Morgan, T. A., and Christensen, G. A.  2012.  California’s Forest Products Industry and Timber Harvest, 2012.  United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, General Technical Report PNW-GTR-908.

Özdikmen, H.  2014.  Turkish red list categories of longicorn beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) Part VIII-Subfamily Cerambycinae: Anaglyptini and Clytini.  Munis Entomology & Zoology Journal 9:687-712.

Peña, C. F. G.  2002.  Catálogo de los Cerambícidos de Aragón.  Catalogus de la Entomofauna Aragonesa 27:3-43.

Plewa, R., Marczak, D., Borowski, J., Mokrzycki, T., Jakubowski, M., and Górski, P.  2015.  New Data on the Occurrence of Longhorn Beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in the Republic of Macedonia.  Acta Zoologica Bulgarica 67:43-50.

Symbiota Collections of Arthropods Network.  Accessed March 16, 2017: http://scan1.acis.ufl.edu



Kyle Beucke, 1220 N Street, Room 221, Sacramento, CA, 95814, 916-403-6741; plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov.

Responsible Party:

Jason Leathers, 2800 Gateway Oaks, Sacramento CA 95833, (916) 654-1211, plant.health[@]cdfa.ca.gov

Comment Period:* CLOSED

7/24/18 – 9/07/18


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Pest Rating: A


Posted by ls