Invasion history and management of Eucalyptus snout beetles in the Gonipterus scutellatus species complex


Gonipterus scutellatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), once thought to be a single species, is now known to reside in a complex of at least eight cryptic species. Two of these species (G. platensis and G. pulverulentus) and an undescribed species (Gonipterus sp. n. 2) are invasive pests on five continents. A single population of Anaphes nitens, an egg parasitoid, has been used to control all three species of Gonipterus throughout the invaded range. Limited knowledge regarding the different cryptic species and their diversity significantly impedes efforts to manage the pest complex outside the native range. In this review, we consider the invasion and taxonomic history of the G. scutellatus cryptic species complex and the implications that the cryptic species diversity could have on management strategies. The ecological and biological aspects of these pests that require further research are identified. Strategies that could be used to develop an ecological approach towards managing the G. scutellatus species complex are also suggested.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Sources: Cadahia (1980), Cadahia (1986, 1931), Clark (1937), Cowles and Downer (1995), EPPO (2005), Haines (2006), Lanfranco and Dungey (2001), Mally (1924), Mansilla Vazquez (1992), Mapondera et al. (2012), Mazza et al. (2015), Miller (1927), Tooke (1955), Pinet (1986), Rabassa and Perrin (1995), Rodas (2018), Rosado-Neto and Marques (1996) and Williams et al. (1951)

Fig. 3

Sources: Cadahia (1980), Clark (1931, 1937), Cowles and Downer (1995), EPPO (2005), Frappa (1950), Haines (2006), Hanks et al. (2000), Kevan (1946), Lanfranco and Dungey (2001), Mally (1924), Mansilla Vazquez (1992), Mapondera et al. (2012), Marelli (1926, 1927), Mazza et al. (2015), Pinet (1986), Rabasse and Perrin (1979), Rodas (2018), Rosado-Neto and Marques (1996), Tooke (1955) and Williams et al. (1951)

Fig. 4
Fig. 5


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We thank the University of Pretoria (UP), Members of the Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) and the Department of Science and Technology—Sector-Specific Innovation Fund (DST-SIF) for financial support.


This study was funded by Tree Protection Co-operative Programme (TPCP) and the Department of Science and Technology—Sector-Specific Innovation Fund (DST-SIF).

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Correspondence to Michelle L. Schröder.

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Schröder, M.L., Slippers, B., Wingfield, M.J. et al. Invasion history and management of Eucalyptus snout beetles in the Gonipterus scutellatus species complex. J Pest Sci 93, 11–25 (2020).

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  • Gonipterus scutellatus
  • Cryptic species
  • Invasion history
  • Biological control
  • Anaphes nitens
  • Eucalyptus snout beetle