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 the South American Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus palmarum) in Texas

Country: United States

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

Eileen Smith, APHIS National Emergency Response Coordinator, at (301) 851-2155

Report: On May 3, 2012, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the detection of South American palm weevil (SAPW), Rhynchophorus palmarum, in Alamo, Texas. This detection was the result of a multi-state delimitation survey initiated in response to detections of SAPW in California in 2011.

On May 11, 2012, a second SAPW was detected in the same general geographic area of Alamo, Texas. Both detections were found within 5 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. APHIS is working closely with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) and Texas A&M University to survey the area of concern to determine the extent of the distribution and next steps.

SAPW, which is one of three ‘giant’ palm weevils of the genus Rhynchophorus, is native to 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. Although SAPW is a vector of the nematode, Bursaphelenchus cocophilus, which can cause red-ring disease in coconut and oil palms, the nematode, was not present in the detected weevils.

Additional information on Rhynchophorus palmarum or Bursaphelenchus cocophilus can be found at: 

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

Posted Date: June 18, 2012, 9 a.m.