Official Pest Report

Official Pest Reports are provided by National Plant Protection Organizations within the NAPPO region. These Pest Reports are intended to comply with the International Plant Protection Convention's Standard on Pest Reporting, endorsed by the Interim Commission on Phytosanitary Measures in March 2002.

Detection of South American Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus palmarum) in California

Country: United States

Title: Detection of South American Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus palmarum) in California

Eileen Smith, APHIS National Emergency Response Coordinator, at (301) 734-5235

Report: On May 9, 2011, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the first U.S. detection of the South American Palm Weevil (SAPW), Rhynchophorus palmarum, in the San Ysidro area of San Diego, California, and initiated delimitation surveys.

Seven additional detections of this pest were found during the month of July and into early August in the same general geographic area of San Ysidro, California. All detections were found within 2.5 miles of the U.S./Mexico border.

Since these detections, APHIS has worked closely with the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) and San Diego County in surveying the area of concern.

SAPW, which is one of three ‘giant’ palm weevils of the genus Rhynchophorus, has its origins in Central and South America and is considered an important pest of palms, specifically date and coconut palms. Sugarcane is also considered a host for this pest. In addition, R. palmarum is a potential vector of the nematode Bursaphelenchus cocophius, which can cause red-ring disease in coconut and oil palms. All SAPW detections in California have been determined to be negative for B. cocophius.

While SAPW detections appear to be limited to the border area of San Ysidro, APHIS, in partnership with CDFA and San Diego County, are working closely together to determine the extent of the distribution and the next steps for this pest.

Under IPPC standards, Rhynchophorus palmarum is considered to be a pest that is transient, actionable, and under surveillance in the United States.

Posted Date: Aug. 8, 2011, 9 a.m.