California Pest Rating for
Orthotomicus erosus (Wollaston): Mediterranean pine engraver
Pest Rating: C
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Comments & Responses:
Some comments were received from one outside party. They suggested that this species may warrant a higher rating that the proposed C-rating. They suggested that the reproductive and dispersal potential might be considered High (it was rated Medium in the present PRP). In response, I have not seen information suggesting that the reproductive potential of this beetle is notably higher than other insect pests. The dispersal capacity is considered high because this beetle flies and it is shown to travel with infested wood. Therefore, the rating for this section is Medium (has either high reproductive or dispersal potential).
The commenter also pointed out that this beetle could be infesting native trees in California but that this could be underreported due to a number of reasons. It could therefore be more widespread in the state than is currently known, it could be having unrecognized impacts on California’s forests, and it could continue to spread further into the state. In response to this:
-Regarding host range, this beetle appears to be limited to one family of plants (the pine family). I think a Low rating for host range is appropriate for this breadth of host.
-I agree that potential environmental impact may be underestimated in this proposal, so I have modified it by including under Environmental Impact A (the pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes).
-The original proposal recognized the potential for this beetle to continue to spread in the state and impact forests.
Orthotomicus erosus is already widespread in California and it does not appear to be under any form of control in the state. A C-rating is appropriate for this species.
Posted by ka