Pest categorisation of non‐EU Choristoneura spp.

Conifers, European Union, pest risk, plant health, plant pest, quarantine, spruce budworm complex
First published in the EFSA Journal
14 May 2019
28 March 2019
Scientific Opinion


The Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of non‐EU Choristoneura spp. Choristoneura is a well‐defined insect genus in the family Tortricidae (Insecta: Lepidoptera). Species can be identified using taxonomic keys and molecular methods. The genus includes 52 species and subspecies colonising conifers and non‐conifer trees in many areas in the world, among which five species are present in the EU. The non‐EU species are listed in Annex IAI of Council Directive 2000/29/EC as Choristoneura spp. (non‐European). Some Choristoneura species are important defoliators in North America, mainly on conifers but also on several broadleaf tree species and on non‐forest crops. Females lay eggs in batches on the needles or the leaves, and overwintering occurs at the larval stage in a silken hibernaculum. Most species are univoltine, some are bivoltine and at least one subspecies has a 2‐year life cycle. Pupation occurs on the twigs of conifers or in folded leaves of broadleaf trees. The adults are strong flyers, and the larvae can disperse by ballooning. The main pathways for entry are plants for planting, cut branches, fruits of host plants (including cones), round wood with bark and bark. Suitable host plants and climate would allow the establishment in the EU of the known, North American harmful species. Non‐EU Choristoneura spp. satisfy all the criteria to be considered as Union quarantine pests. Measures are in place to prevent the introduction of non‐EU Choristoneura spp. through the pathways described above. As non‐EU Choristoneura spp. are not present in the EU and plants for planting are not the major pathway for spread, non‐EU Choristoneura spp. do not meet the criteria to be considered as regulated non‐quarantine pests.

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 L Reignault, Hans‐Hermann Thulke, Wopke Van der Werf, Antonio Vicent, Jonathan Yuen, Lucia Zappalà.
Panel on Plant Health
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EFSA Journal 2019;17(5):5671
Question Number
On request from
European Commission