Research project Developing a monitoring capacity for native and exotic Agrilus spp. in Belgium


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General introduction

What is the best way to trap Agrilus jewel beetles? That was the focus of the Euphresco project 'AGRITRAP'. The larvae of this beetle can cause lethal damage to (fruit) trees by digging tunnels in the bark and sapwood. The aim of the project was to consolidate the European studies conducted so far, and, with collaboration from North American researchers, devise a generic trapping technique for Agrilus jewel beetles. Monitoring tools for specific American Agrilus species (e.g. A. anxius, A. bilineatus, A. auroguttatus) and for specific European Agrilus species (e.g. A. biguttatus, A. viridis, A. sulcicollis, A. sinuatus) were also optimized.

Research approach

We studied to what extent native Agrilus species respond to a series of green- or yellow-coloured traps. We compared all traps in our country, with or without decoys/lures, under different conditions. The best trap type was also deployed in North America, to evaluate its value for monitoring A. planipennis and other local species.
The other work packages aimed to provide practical tools for future monitoring of target species of Agrilus spp. by NPPO inspectors, researchers and others who may be impacted by Agrilus spp. as part of their professional activities (e.g. foresters, fruit tree growers, etc.)


The Agritrap project contributed to the more global Euphresco project to design monitoring instruments on both sides of the Atlantic. Based on our results, it was found that yellow fluorescent traps are more efficient for monitoring European Buprestidae living in deciduous forests, although green Lindgren funnel traps are more suitable for Agrilus biguttatus. Furthermore, a simple pictorial key was created based on straightforward characteristics (size, colour, hairiness, etc.), with the aim of enabling foresters, fruit tree growers, researchers and FAVV/AFSCA inspectors to distinguish native species that cause only limited damage from the species that cause intense damage.


FOD Volksgezondheid, Veiligheid van de voedselketen en Leefmilieu