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Subject: Platypus mutatus found in Italy, marking the first detection of the beetle outside of South America
Date posted: June 22, 2004
Source: Entomotropica and EPPO
Platypus mutatus (syn. P. sulcatus), a wood boring beetle, was found attacking live poplar trees in Italy. Previous reports of the pest were isolated to South American countries such as Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. Platypus mutatus attacks a wide range of woody trees and unlike other ‘ambrosia beetles’ that typically infest cut or decaying wood, it is capable of boring into healthy standing trees. This beetle has the potential to cause serious economic damage in commercial plantations by lowering yields, reducing vigor and wood quality. Dispersal is possible over long distances via woody host plants for planting, wood or wood products from infested areas. Detection can be difficult as the pest predominantly resides in the wood tissues throughout its life cycle.

For the whole story, see:
Gimenez, R. A., and A. E. Etiennot. 2003. Host range of Platypus mutatus (Chapuis, 1865) (Coleoptera : Playtpodidae). Entomotropica, 18(2), 89-94.

EPPO Reporting Service 2004, No. 04, 9-10. Available online: http://www.eppo.org/PUBLICATIONS/reporting/Rse-0404.pdf