14th Joint EPPO/IOBC Panel Meeting on Biological Control Agents
Additions to PM 6/3, the list of Biological Control Agents safely used in the EPPO region
The Panel recommended the addition of three biological control agents to PM 6/3 Appendix 1:
- Exochomus quadripustulatus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)
- Micromus angulatus (Neuroptera: Hemerobiidae)
- Trissolcus basalis (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae)
The dossiers for these biological control agents will be presented to the Working Party on Phytosanitary Regulations in 2022 accompanied by an explanatory document reflecting the basis for the Panel’s recommendation. The Panel also discussed the addition of Pronematus ubiquitus (Acarida: Tydeidae) to Appendix 1 and agreed that additional information is required from the applicant before a decision is made.
Exocomus quadripustulatus – Gilles San Martin (Wikimedia)
Micromus angulatus (Wikimedia)
Trissolcus basalis (Wikimedia)
The Panel discussed the potential for updating PM 6/1(1) First import of exotic biological control agents for research under contained conditions and PM 6/2(3) Import and release of non-indigenous biological control agents. The Panel agreed that it is important to ensure there is a clear link between these Standards and later published Standards, e.g. PM 6/4 Decision‐support scheme for import and release of biological control agents of plant pests. A small sub-group of Panel experts was formed to review both Standards and present a proposal for revision at the next Panel meeting.
The Panel discussed a draft scope and outline for a Standard on evaluating host specificity of biological control agents for invasive alien plants. The Panel discussed if the Standard should include both arthropods and fungal biological control agents and agreed that it can cover both groups of biological control agents, but it would be useful to check if there are requirements on fungal host range testing in the pesticide regulation in the EU.
The Panel had a brainstorming session on the development of future PM6 Standards and the Panel considered there was a need for guidelines on post release monitoring, host range testing of arthropod biocontrol agents used for the control of arthropod pests. In addition, the Panel thought that guidelines on holding of biological control agents under quarantine conditions could be included as an annex of PM 6/1.
The Panel considered the assessment of Ganaspis brasiliensis (Figitidae), a biological control agent for Drosophila suzukii, conducted by experts from CABI using the EPPO Standard PM 6/4 Decision‐support scheme for import and release of biological control agents of plant pests. The assessment highlighted the usefulness of the decision-support scheme and areas where further clarifications/amendments could be made to improve the scheme in the future.
Panel discussed the development of a number of documents that can be used to promote the work of the Joint EPPO/IOBC Panel, and the role biological control can play in the control of regulated pests. The Panel discussed the specifications for a platform to exchange information on national assessments for releases of biological control agents. Panel agreed that they will further explore the usefulness and need of such a platform, what type of documents should be shared on such a platform and the preparedness to share documents on such a platform. Panel also discussed ways of making information on biological control agents in EPPO Global Database more visible.