Biological Invasions

, Volume 18, Issue 8, pp 2283–2297 | Cite as

Identification and genetic diversity of two invasive Pissodes spp. Germar (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in their introduced range in the southern hemisphere

  • Mesfin WondafrashEmail author
  • Bernard Slippers
  • Jeff Garnas
  • Géraldine Roux
  • Jiri Foit
  • David W. Langor
  • Brett P. Hurley
Original Paper


During the first half of the twentieth century, two accidental cases of introduction of Pissodes weevils were recorded from the southern hemisphere. The weevils in South Africa were identified as the deodar weevil (Pissodes nemorensis) and those in South America as the small banded pine weevil (Pissodes castaneus). Wide distribution of the two species in their invasive range, general difficulty in identifying some Pissodes spp., and the varying feeding and breeding behaviours of the species in South Africa has necessitated better evidence of species identity and genetic diversity of both species and population structure of the species in South Africa. Barcoding and the Jerry-to-Pat region of the COI gene were investigated. Morphometric data of the South African species was analysed. Our results confirmed the introduction of only one Pissodes species of North American origin to South Africa. However, this species is not P. nemorensis, but an unrecognized species of the P. strobi complex or a hybrid between P. strobi and P. nemorensis. Only P. castaneus, of European origin, was identified from South America. We identified ten mitochondrial DNA haplotypes from South Africa with evidence of moderate genetic structure among geographic populations. Terminal leader and bole-feeding weevils did not differ at the COI locus. A single haplotype was identified from populations of P. castaneus in South America. Results of the present study will have implications on quarantine, research and management of these insect species.


Bark weevils Invasive forest insects Pissodes castaneus Pissodes nemorensis Genetic diversity Population structure 



We thank members of Tree Protection Co-operative Program (TPCP), DST-National Research Foundation (NRF) and the University of Pretoria, South Africa for financial support. Kevin Dodds (US Forest Service, USA), Maria Lombardero (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain), Rodrigo Ahumada (Bioforest SA, Concepción, Chile), Marcos Beeche (SAG, Chile), Cecilia Ruiz (Argentina) and Laura Amaral (Tacuarembó Department, Uruguay) are acknowledged for providing dead insect specimens. We also thank the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions and comments.

Supplementary material

10530_2016_1159_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (111 kb)
ESM 1 Sampling areas, GPS coordinates and number of specimens used for genetic and morphometric studies of the Pissodes sp. in South Africa (PDF 110 kb)
10530_2016_1159_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (97 kb)
ESM 2 Species, number, collection locality and country information of the non-South African specimens of which the Jerry-to-Pat and barcoding region of COI gene was sequenced (PDF 96 kb)
10530_2016_1159_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (457 kb)
ESM 3 Estimates of net sequence divergence between different Pissodes spp. based on sequences of the Jerry-to-Pat region of the COI gene (PDF 456 kb)
10530_2016_1159_MOESM4_ESM.pdf (436 kb)
ESM 4 Estimates of net sequence divergence between different Pissodes spp. based on sequences of the barcoding region of the COI gene (PDF 435 kb)
10530_2016_1159_MOESM5_ESM.pdf (202 kb)
ESM 5 Mean ± SE and range of morphometric characters of adults of the Pissodes sp. in South Africa (PDF 202 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mesfin Wondafrash
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Bernard Slippers
    • 3
  • Jeff Garnas
    • 1
  • Géraldine Roux
    • 4
    • 5
  • Jiri Foit
    • 6
  • David W. Langor
    • 7
  • Brett P. Hurley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology and Entomology, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI)University of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.School of Plant SciencesHaramaya UniversityDire DawaEthiopia
  3. 3.Department of Genetics, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI)University of PretoriaPretoriaSouth Africa
  4. 4.INRA UR633 Zoologie ForestièreOrléansFrance
  5. 5.Université d’OrléansOrléansFrance
  6. 6.Department of Forest Protection and Wildlife Management, Faculty of Forestry and Wood TechnologyMendel University of Agriculture and ForestryBrnoCzech Republic
  7. 7.Natural Resources CanadaCanadian Forest ServiceEdmontonCanada

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