Pest categorisation of Popillia japonica

hitch hiker, Japanese beetle, pest risk, plant health, plant pest, quarantine
First published in the EFSA Journal
8 November 2018
27 September 2018
Scientific Opinion


The Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Popillia japonica(Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) for the EU. P. japonica is a distinguishable species listed in Annex IAII of Council Directive 2000/29/EC. It is native to Japan but established in the USA in the early 20th century. It spreads from New Jersey to most US states east of the Mississippi, some to the west and north into Canada. P. japonica feeds on over 700 plant species. Adults attack foliage and fruit surfaces. They can cause serious injury to tree fruits and soft fruit, vegetable crops, ornamental herbaceous plants, shrubs, vines and trees. Larvae are root feeders regarded as serious pests of lawns and turf, vegetables and nursery stock. Adults emerge during the summer and can fly short distances on warm sunny days. The life cycle is usually completed in one year. In cooler regions, development takes two years. P. japonica occurs in the EU in the Azores (Portugal), Lombardy and Piedmont (Italy) where it is under official control. Adults are suspected of being able to spread on aircraft as hitchhikers, i.e. without host plants. Soil accompanying plants for planting provides a pathway for further introductions. Hosts are widely available within the EU. Climatic conditions across central and parts of southern EU are suitable for development in one year. Across parts of northern Europe development over two years is likely. Without control, impacts could be expected on a range of plants. Phytosanitary measures are available to reduce the likelihood of introduction of P. japonica. All criteria assessed by EFSA for consideration as a potential Union quarantine pest are met. Plants for planting are not necessarily the main means of spread so P. japonica does not satisfy all criteria necessary for it to be regarded as a Union regulated non‐quarantine pest (RNQP).

Panel members at the time of adoption

Claude Bragard, Katharina Dehnen‐Schmutz, Francesco Di Serio, Paolo Gonthier, Marie‐Agnès Jacques, Josep Anton Jaques Miret, Annemarie Fejer Justesen, Alan MacLeod, Christer Sven Magnusson, Panagiotis Milonas, Juan A. Navas‐Cortes, Stephen Parnell, Roel Potting, Philippe Lucien Reignault, Hans‐Hermann Thulke, Wopke Van der Werf, Antonio Vicent Civera, Jonathan Yuen and Lucia Zappalà.
Panel on Plant Health
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EFSA Journal 2018;16(10):5438
Question Number
On request from
European Commission