Pest categorisation of the Andean Potato Weevil (APW) complex (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

European Union, pest risk, plant health, plant pest, Premnotrypes, Phyrdenus muriceus, Rhigopsidius tucumanus
First published in the EFSA Journal
3 July 2020
11 June 2020
Scientific Opinion


The EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of the species within the Andean Potato Weevil (APW) complex (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) for the EU. The complex consists of 14 species, 12 belong to the genus Premnotrypes, plus Phyrdenus muriceus and Rhigopsidius tucumanus. These weevils co‐occur in the Andean region, usually above 2,100 m. Eggs are deposited in plant debris close to potato plants. Upon hatching larvae immediately bore into potato tubers where they complete development. Except for R. tucumanus, which pupates inside the tuber, mature larvae leave the tuber and pupate in the soil. Adults can survive feeding on different plants but cannot deposit fertile eggs unless fed on potato foliage. P. muriceus can also complete development feeding on tomato and eggplant roots and occurs at lower altitudes from southern USA to central Argentina. Within the APW complex only species in the genus Premnotrypes are regulated in Annex IIA of Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/2072 as Premnotrypes spp. (non‐EU). Within this regulation potential pathways, such as solanaceous plants for planting with foliage and growing medium, seed and ware potatoes, and soil, can be considered as closed. There are no records of interception of any of these weevils in EUROPHYT. Should these species be introduced into the EU, climatic conditions and wide availability of potato crops in the EU territory would provide conditions for establishment, spread and economic impact. Phytosanitary measures are available to reduce the likelihood of entry. The species within the APW complex satisfy with no uncertainties the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess, for them to be regarded as potential Union quarantine pests. Although human‐assisted movement of seed potatoes is considered the main mechanism for spread of these species, these weevils do not meet the criterion of occurring in the EU for them to be regarded as potential Union 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 Civera, Jonathan Yuen and Lucia Zappalà.
Panel on Plant Health
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EFSA Journal 2020;18(7):6176
Question Number
On request from
European Commission