Open Access
Translator Disclaimer
1 March 2018 First Record of Euplatypus parallelus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in China
You Li, Xiang Zhou, Shengchang Lai, Tao Yin, Yingchao Ji, Shuping Wang, Jianguo Wang, Jiri Hulcr
Author Affiliations +

Euplatypus parallelus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is a neotropical ambrosia beetle that that is rapidly spreading around the world. It has been recorded from over 80 host trees and is implicated as a primary pest attacking rubber trees and rosewood. Here, we report the first country record and successful establishment of the species in Hainan, China. Currently, E. parallelus does not appear to act as a destructive forest pest in Hainan.

Euplatypus parallelus (F.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Platypodinae) is one of the most common ambrosia beetles in Central and South America (Silva et al. 2013). It is polyphagous and is reported to infest over 82 plant tree species from 25 families (Gümüş & Ergün 2015). Although this species is native to the neotropics, it is one of the most invasive of all the Platypodinae. In the late 1800s, E. parallelus was introduced into Africa where it is now fairly widespread, while it is currently spreading rapidly in southeastern Asia (Beaver 1999; Boa & Kirkendall 2004; Gümüş & Ergün 2015).

Most platypodine species infest only freshly dead or dying trees. However, E. parallelus is one of the few species that can successfully colonize live trees, although it is typically associated with trees stressed by drought, disease, or flooding (Boa & Kirkendall 2004). Euplatypus parallelus has been reported to attack live rubber trees (Hevea brasiliensis [Malpighiales]) in Brazil (Silva et al. 2013), implicated in a major die-off of Indian Rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo [Fabales]) in Bangladesh (Boa & Kirkendall 2004), and repeatedly reported as a suspect of transmitting fungal pathogens of trees (Sanderson et al. 1997; Boa & Kirkendall 2004; Bumrungsri et al. 2008; Tarno et al. 2016). For example, in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, E. parallelus has been associated with Fusarium, a causative agent of wilt on Pterocarpus indicus (Sanderson 1997; Bumrungsri et al. 2008; Tarno et al. 2016).

Even though E. parallelus is spreading rapidly in Asia, it has not yet been reported from China where it is considered a regulated pest (General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China 2017). During Oct 2016, many representatives of platypodine ambrosia beetles were captured in light traps (UV blacklight) and hand-collected from dead rubber trees in Danzhou, Hainan (19.4375°N, 109.5585°W; 143 masl). The first specimens were preserved in 100% ethanol and sent to the University of Florida (UF), School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Forest Entomology Laboratory, where they were confirmed as E. parallelus using the taxonomic keys by Atkinson (1989) and Wood (1993). Specimens were deposited in the UF Forest Entomology Laboratory Collection. After the initial collection, 2 additional surveys were carried out in Dec 2016 and from May to Jun 2017. During the collection in 2017, kairomone-baited traps also were used that contained alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, verbenone, and ethanol (Wako Pure Chemical Industries, Japan). In total, 246 specimens of E. parallelus were collected from 10 locations in Hainan, China (Table. 1). Several individuals of other platypodine species (Dinoplatypus cavus and Crossotarsus externedentatus [Coleoptera: Curculionidae]) also were collected from dying trees during the surveys.

Table 1.

Collection of Euplatypus parallelus specimens in Hainan, China, from 2016 to 2017.


A subset of the Hainan samples was submitted to the Jiangxi Agriculture University for molecular identification. Genomic DNA was extracted from 2 individuals from 2 locations in Hainan (Xinglong and Bawangling; Table 1). Portions of the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) and the nuclear ribosomal 28S regions of E. parallelus were amplified using oligonucleotide primers S1718 and A2237 as well as S3690 and A4285, respectively (Jordal et al. 2011). The National Center for Biotechnology Information's Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) was used to identify the nucleotide sequences. Cytochrome oxidase subunit I and rDNA sequences (2016113001, 20161205003) were 98% similar to the E. parallelus #PlEup03 and #PlEup04 (GenBank accessions KR261327 and KR261328, respectively). Both 28S rDNA sequences were 99% similar to the E. parallelus #PlEup03 and #PlEup04 (Gen-Bank accessions KR261230 and KR261231, respectively). Previously, E. parallelus #PlEup03 and #PlEup04 have been reported by Jordal (2015) from two populations from Brazil and Cameroon, respectively.

Collection data showed that this beetle has successfully colonized Hainan Island and is now widely distributed there (Fig. 1). Specimens were collected at 10 locations on the island, including natural old-growth forest as well as planted forests, mostly rubber tree plantations. During the last large-scale survey of forest pests in Hainan (15 years ago), E. parallelus was not recorded (Yin et al. 2002), therefore we assume that the species was introduced to the area between 2003 and 2015. It is important to note that our sample data were restricted to Hainan Island. Therefore, we do not know whether this beetle has been introduced into mainland China. Currently, specimens we collected from rubber trees were already dying from other causes. Euplatypus parallelus does not appear to act as a destructive forest pest in Hainan.

Fig 1.

The collections of Euplatypus parallelus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Hainan, China, reported in this paper.


We thank Jia Lv and Shan Tian (Jiangxi Agriculture University, China) for aid in beetle collections. Additional thanks to Thomas H. Atkinson (University of Texas, USA) for training the first author on platypodine identification and to Demian Gómez (University of Florida, USA) for proofreading. This research was supported by grants from the National Key Research and Development Project of China (No. 2017YFC1200600). Authors Y. L. and J. H. were supported by the USDA Forest Service, the USDA APHIS Farm Bill section 100007, and the National Science Foundation.

References Cited


Atkinson TH. 1989. The species of Platypus of Florida (Coleoptera: Platypodidae). Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry Entomology Circular 321: 1–4. Google Scholar


Beaver RA. 1999. New records of ambrosia beetles from Thailand (Coleoptera: Platypodidae). Serangga 4: 29–34. Google Scholar


Boa E, Kirkendall L. 2004. Strengthening National Capacity for Control of Pterocarpus indicus Wilt Disease Disease and Forest Protection: Sandragon wilt disease, final technical report. Seychelles. Google Scholar


Bumrungsri S, Beaver R, Phongpaichit S, Sittichaya W. 2008. The infestation by an exotic ambrosia beetle, Euplatypus parallelus (F.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Platypodinae) of Angsana trees (Pterocarpus indicus Willd.) in southern Thailand. Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology 30: 579–582. Google Scholar


Gümüş EM, Ergün A. 2015. Report of a pest risk analysis for Platypus parallelus (Fabricius, 1801) for Turkey. EPPO Bulletin 45: 112–118. Google Scholar


General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China. 2017. List of quarantine pests for the plants imported to the People's Republic of China. Last accessed 30 Aug 2017. Google Scholar


Jordal BH, Sequeira AS, Cognato AI. 2011. The age and phylogeny of wood boring weevils and the origin of subsociality. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 59: 708–724. Google Scholar


Jordal BH. 2015. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of the weevil subfamily Platypodinae reveals evolutionarily conserved range patterns. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 92: 294–307. Google Scholar


Sanderson FR, King FY, Pheng YC, Ho OK, Anuar S. 1997. A Fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum) of Angsana (Pterocarpus indicus) in Singapore. I. Epidemiology and identification of the causal organism. Arboricultural Journal 21: 187–204. Google Scholar


Silva JCP, Putz P, Silveira EC, Flechtmann CAH. 2013. Biological aspects of Euplatypus parallelus (F.) (Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Platypodinae) attacking Hevea brasiliensis (Willd. ex A. Juss.) in São Paulo northwest, Brazil. Pp. 1–4 In Proceedings of the 3rd Congresso Brasi. Heveicultura, 24–26 Jul 2013. Google Scholar


Tarno H, Septia ED, and Aini LQ. 2016. Microbial community associated with ambrosia beetle, Euplatypus parallelus on sonokembang, Pterocarpus indicus in malang. AGRIVITA Journal of Agricultural Science 38: 312–320. Google Scholar


Yin H, Huang F, Zeng R, Li H. 2002. Coleoptera: Platypodidae, pp. 472–473 In Huang F. [ed.], Forest Insects of Hainan. Science Press, Beijing, China. (Chinese with English abstract) Google Scholar


Wood SL. 1993. Revision of the genera of Platypodidae (Coleoptera). Great Basin Naturalist 53: 259–281. Google Scholar
You Li, Xiang Zhou, Shengchang Lai, Tao Yin, Yingchao Ji, Shuping Wang, Jianguo Wang, and Jiri Hulcr "First Record of Euplatypus parallelus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in China," Florida Entomologist 101(1), 141-143, (1 March 2018).
Published: 1 March 2018

COI sequence
forest pest
invasive species
perforador de madera
Get copyright permission
Back to Top