Skip to main content

Ashes in Europe are in danger: the invasive range of Agrilus planipennis in European Russia is expanding


The emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera, Buprestidae), is a pest of ash native to Asia. This major stem borer has killed millions of ash trees in North America. It was first found in Europe in 2003 in the city of Moscow. Now it is rapidly spreading in European Russia. In 2012 A. planipennis was found in the Tula, Kaluga, and Smolensk regions. A survey of green plantations in 22 localities in 2013 has revealed that A. planipennis occurs also in the Tver, Orel, Voronezh, Tambov, and Yaroslavl regions. It occurs 230 km northeast, 350 km southeast, and 460 km south from Moscow. Most ashes in the Moscow region, both alien American Fraxinus pennsylvanica and the indiginous European ash Fraxinus excelsior, are dying or already dead. Thousands of trees in other regions are seriously damaged. The pest will cross the western border of Russia soon. It represents a serious threat for ashes in other European countries.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1


  • Baranchikov YN, Kurteev VV (2012) Invasive area of the emerald ash borer in Europe. Ecological and economical consequences of invasions of dendrophilous insects. Forest Institute of Siberian Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Krasnoyarsk, pp 91–94 (in Russian)

  • Baranchikov YN, Mozolevskaya EG, Yurchenko GI, Kenis M (2008) Occurrence of the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) in Russia and its potential impact on European forestry. EPPO Bull 38:233–238

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Baranchikov YN, Gninenko YI, Yurchenko GI (2010) Emerald ash borer in Russia: 2009 situation update. Proceedings of the 21st USDA interagency research forum on invasive species. USDA FS APHIS, Morgantown, pp 66–67

  • Chamorro ML, Volkovitsh MG, Poland TM, Haack RA, Lingafelter SW (2012) Preimaginal stages of the Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae): an invasive pest on Ash Trees (Fraxinus). PLoS ONE 7(3):e33185. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033185

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Communication of the information agency “Regnum” (2012) The beetle that has damaged trees in the vicinity of Moscow damages trees in Obninsk (Kaluga region) (in Russian). Accessed 22 May 2013

  • EPPO (2013) European and mediterranean plant protection organization. Database on quarantine pests. Accessed 20 Sept 2013

  • Gninenko YI (2012) Report of the operative meeting of Federal Forestry Agency (21.08.2012). Federal Forestry Agency 2012. (in Russian). Accessed 25 May 2013

  • Izhevskiy SS (2007) Invasion of the emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis in Moscow region. (in Russian). Accessed 25 May 2013

  • Knight KS, Brown JP, Long RP (2013) Factors affecting the survival of ash (Fraxinus spp.) trees infested by emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis. Biol Invasions 15:371–383. doi:10.1007/s10530-012-0292-z

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lifant’eva E (2012) Interview with the head of Department of ecology of the city administration V. I. Slobodenyuk. Ugol zreniya 22 (597). (in Russian). Accessed 22 June 2013

  • Majorov SR, Bochkin VD, Nasimovich YA, Shcherbakov AV (2012) Alien flora of Moscow and Moscow region. KMK Publishing house, Moscow

    Google Scholar 

  • Mastro V, Lance D, Reardon R, Parra G (2007) Emerald Ash Borer and Asian Longhorned Beetle research and technology development meeting. Cincinnati, OH, October 29–November 2, 2006. USDA Forest Service FHTET-2007-04

  • Mercader RJ, Siegert NW, Liebhold AM, McGullough DG (2009) Emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis, dispersal in newly colonized sites. Agric For Entomol 11:421–424

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mozolevskaya EG, Izmailov AI, Alexeyev NA (2008) Foci of the dangerous pest of ash—emerald ash borer in Moscow and vicinity. Forest Vestnik 53:24–31 (in Russian)

    Google Scholar 

  • Orlova-Bienkowskaja MJ (2013) Dramatic expansion of the range of invasive ash pest Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, 1888 (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) in European Russia. Entomol Rev 93(4) (in press) (in Russian)

  • Poland TM (2007) Twenty million ash trees later: current status of Emerald ash borer in Michigan. Newslett Mich Entomol Soc 52(1–2):10–14

    Google Scholar 

  • Shankhiza EV (2007) Invasion of the emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis to Moscow region (in Russian). Accessed 24 May 2013

  • Volkovich MG (2007) Emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis—new extremely dangerous pest of ash in the European part of Russia (in Russian). Accessed 25 June 2013

  • Wei X, Wu Y, Reardon R, Sun TH, Lu M, Sun JH (2007) Biology and damage traits of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) in China. Insect Sci 14(5):367–373

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


I am grateful to M. G. Volkovich (Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences) for the confirmation of the beetle identification. The research is supported by the Program of Presidium of Russian Academy of Sciences “Wildlife”—”Invasions”.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Marina J. Orlova-Bienkowskaja.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Orlova-Bienkowskaja, M.J. Ashes in Europe are in danger: the invasive range of Agrilus planipennis in European Russia is expanding. Biol Invasions 16, 1345–1349 (2014).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Agrilus planipennis
  • Pest
  • Emerald ash borer
  • European Russia
  • Fraxinus pennsylvanica
  • Fraxinus excelsior