EPPO Alert List – Naupactus xanthographus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)

South American fruit tree weevil



Naupactus xanthographus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae - South American fruit tree weevil) is a weevil which has been reported to cause economic damage in grapevine and fruit trees. During the EU-funded project DROPSA (Strategies to develop effective, innovative and practical approaches to protect major European fruit crops from pests and pathogens), N. xanthographus was identified as a pest of fruit which may present a risk for the EPPO region, in particular for grapevine.



N. xanthographus occurs only in South America. It is widespread in Argentina and was introduced into Chile. Limited information is available about its situation in Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay.

EPPO region: Absent.
South America: Argentina, Brazil (Río Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina), Chile (including Easter Island, and Juan Fernandez islands), Paraguay, Uruguay.


On which plants

N. xanthographus is a polyphagous weevil which feeds on numerous cultivated plant species and weeds (e.g. Sorghum halepense). One of the main native hosts of N. xanthographus is Erythrina crista-galli, the distribution of the weevil approximately matches the range of this host plant, which has been introduced in Central Chile and Southeastern USA as an ornamental. Its economically important hosts include grapevine (Vitis vinifera), and fruit trees such as: apple (Malus domestica), stone fruit (Prunus spp.), lemon and orange (Citrus lemon, C. sinensis), pear (Pyrus communis), kiwifruit (Actinidia spp.) and avocado (Persea americana). Other recorded host plants include: Annona cherimola, Diospyros kaki, Eriobotrya japonica, Glycine max, Juglans regia, Medicago sativa, Mespilus germanica, Olea europaea, Phaseolus vulgaris, Populus nigra, Rubus idaeus, Solanum lycopersicum, Solanum tuberosum, Vaccinium spp.




Courtesy: P. Reynaud

BIP of Marseille Port (FR)
Specimen found on apples from Uruguay


Direct damage is caused by larvae feeding on roots. Adult feeding causes superficial damage to leaves (irregular leaf margins) and fruit. N. xanthographus may also alter fruit quality due to the presence of excrements on fruit. In Chile where it was introduced, N. xanthographus is considered to be one of the most important pests of grapevine and of economic importance on stone fruit and citrus.
Adults are dark brown to grey weevils (2 to 2.5 cm long) with greenish yellow bands on the thorax and abdomen. Larvae are white and approximately 1.5 cm long. Adults emerge from the soil over a period of 5-6 months between spring and early autumn. They are most abundant in November and February and live for about 8 months. A generation is completed in 16-21 months. Females are capable of producing offspring in the absence of males for up to 6 months. Eggs are laid in late summer and autumn in the aerial parts of the plants, newly hatched larvae then fall to the ground in search of roots. The insect overwinters as larvae in the soil. Pupation takes place in the soil.
Images of N. xanthographus can be viewed on the Internet:




Adults are flightless, therefore natural spread is probably limited to short distances. Over long distances, trade of infested plants can spread the pest, as well as movements of infested soil attached to plants or machinery. Adults of N. xanthographus may be concealed within bunches of table grapes and have been intercepted on grapes from Chile in the USA and Peru. Interestingly, the peaks of adult emergence in Chile are in September-October and December-February, periods which overlap with the main harvesting season of table grapes. N. xanthographus has also been found on apples imported into France from Uruguay.



Plants for planting, fruit, soil from countries where the pest occurs.


Possible risks

N. xanthographus is a polyphagous pest which can attack many fruit crops that are of economic importance in the EPPO region. It can be noted that N. xanthographus is listed as a quarantine pest in Canada, Japan, Jordan, and the USA. In Argentina and Chile, it is considered to be an economically important pest of grapevine and fruit crops. Chemical control of N. xanthographus is difficult as its larvae live concealed in the ground. However, barriers placed on the trunk (with insecticides or organically acceptable alternatives formulated in a viscous substrate) can help prevent adult weevils moving from the soil to the foliage. Research on the use of biocontrol agents has also been carried out (e.g. entomopathogenic nematodes). More studies would be needed to evaluate the potential of introduction and establishment of N. xanthographus in the EPPO region, but considering its current geographical distribution and interception history, it seems likely that it has the potential to be moved via international trade and that it could establish in the EPPO region.


Aguirre C, Olivares N, Luppichini P, Hinrichsen P (2015) A PCR-based diagnostic system for differentiating two weevil species (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) of economic importance to the Chilean citrus industry. Journal of Economic Entomology 108(1), 107-113.
Edgington S, Merino LM (2012) Biological characterisation of Heterorhabditis atacamensis and Steinernema unicornum (Nematoda: Rhabditida), entomopathogenic nematodes from Chile. Russian Journal of Nematology 20(1),1-8 (abst.)
- Biosecurity Australia (2005) Revised draft import Risk Analysis report for table grapes from Chile. http://www.agriculture.gov.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/ba/memos/2005/2005_04b.pdf
- CABI Crop Protection Compendium. CAB International, UK. http://www.cabi.org/cpc
- Ripa R, Larral P (eds) (2008) Manejo de plagas en paltos y cítricos. http://www.avocadosource.com/books/ripa2008/ripa.htm
- Sistema National Argentino de Vigilancia t Monitoreo de plagas (Sinavimo). Naupactus xanthographus. http://www.sinavimo.gov.ar/plaga/naupactus-xanthographus
Lanteri A, del Río MG (2017) Naupactus xanthographus (Germar) species group (Curculionidae: Entiminae: Naupactini): a comprehensive taxonomic treatment. Journal of Natural History 51, 27-28.
Olivares N, Morales N, Luppichini P, López E (2014) Oviposition of Naupactus cervinus (Boheman) and Naupactus xanthographus (Germar) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) under laboratory conditions on orange fruit. Chilean Journal of Agricultural Research 74(4), 502-505.
Pinto L, Zaviezo T (2003) Effectiveness of bands based on oils and polybutene on the control of Naupactus xanthographus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Ciencia e Investigacion Agraria 30 (2), 69-77.
Ripa RS (1986) [Contribution to the knowledge of the life history of the fruit tree weevil, Naupactus xanthographus (Germar) Coleoptera: Curculionidae)]. Agricultura Tecnica Chile 46(1), 33-40 (in Spanish).
Scataglini MA, Lanteri AA, Confalonieri VA (2005) Phylogeny of the Pantomorus–Naupactus complex based on morphological and molecular data (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Cladistics 21, 131-142.
Vera W, Parra L, Quiroz A, Bergmann J (2016) Attraction to host plant volatiles and feeding performance of Naupactus xanthographus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is affected by starvation. Journal of Insect Behavior 29(1), 48-56 (abst.).


EPPO RS 2018/027, 2018/049

Entry date 2018-02