Buprestis novemmaculata

Name:   Buprestis novemmaculata
Pest Authorities:  Linneaus
Taxonomic Position:  Insecta: Coleoptera: Buprestidae
Sub-specific Taxon:  
Pest Type:   Insect
Common Name(s):
   Flat headed woodborer (English)
   Metallic woodborer (English)
   Neunpunkt Prachtkäfer (German)
   Painted borer (English)
Numerical Score:  3
Relative Risk Rating:  Moderate Risk
Uncertainty:   Uncertain
Establishment Potential Is High Risk
The relevant criteria chosen for this organism are:  
  • Organism has successfully established in location(s) outside its native distribution
  • Suitable climatic conditions and suitable host material coincide with ports of entry or major destinations.
  • Organism has active, directed host searching capability or is vectored by an organism with directed, host searching capability.
  • Organism has high inoculum potential or high likelihood of reproducing after entry.
Justification: Buprestis novemmaculata is established in Chile where it invades dead Monterrey pine, Pinus radiata. This insect would find suitable climatic conditions and host material at many North American ports of entry and would have a high likelihood of reproducing after entry.

Spread Potential Is High Risk
The relevant criteria chosen for this organism are:  
  • Organism is capable of dispersing more than several km per year through its own movement or by abiotic factors (such as wind, water or vectors).
  • Organism has demonstrated the ability for redistribution through human-assisted transport.
  • Organism has a high reproductive potential
  • Potential hosts have contiguous distribution.
  • Newly established populations may go undetected for many years due to cryptic nature, concealed activity, slow development of damage symptoms, or misdiagnosis.
  • Eradication techniques are unknown, infeasible, or expected to be ineffective.
Justification: Buprestids are typically strong fliers, capable of covering several km to search for suitable host material. Buprestis novemmaculata is established in Chile and was undoubtedly introduced via wood or wood products imported from within its natural range. It has a high reproductive potential and its hosts (e.g. pines) have contiguous distributions in many parts of North America. Established populations could go undetected for long periods because of their cryptic life cycle. In addition, because the genus Buprestis is well represented in North America an introduced species might not be easily recognized.

Economic Potential Is Low Risk
The relevant criteria chosen for this organism are:  
  • Organism attacks hosts or products with significant commercial value (such as for timber, pulp, or wood products.
Justification: Buprestis novemmaculata feeds primarily on woody tissue that has been dead for at least one year (Billings and Holsten 1969a). However, there is some evidence that severely stressed hosts may be attacked (Olave 1953). This insect has been reported to attack living trees in New Zealand (Eglitis and Holsten 1972).

Environmental Potential Is Low Risk
The relevant criteria chosen for this organism are:  
Justification: Provided that this insect confines its attacks to dead trees, its ecological role would be as an agent of the breakdown of organic matter.

In its natural range, Buprestis novemmaculata infests pines, Pinus spp. and other conifers (Freude et al. 1979). In Chile it attacks Monterey pine, Pinus radiata (Billings and Holsten 1969, Eglitis and Holsten 1972).

     Indigenous to North Africa (Horion 1951).
     Indigenous to Russia (Ural Mountains, western Siberian Plain and southern Siberian Mountains), Turkey and Kazakhstan (Horion 1951).
Australasia & South Pacific:
     Introduced and established in New Zealand (Eglitis and Holsten 1972).
     Indigenous to central and southern Europe east to the Caucasus (Herve 1987, Sueur 1988, Horion 1951). It has recently been collected in southern Norway (Zachariassen 1997) and is considered endangered in Finland, probably due to fire protection and intensified forest management. It is reportedly rare in Austria and Germany (Horion 1951)
South America:
     This insect has become established in Chile and is widely distributed through the central pine-growing region. (Billings and Holsten 1969, Eglitis and Holsten 1972).
The genus Buprestis is a large genus of metallic wood borers. The adults of many species are brightly colored, striking insects. Some species attack only conifers while other species confine their attacks to broadleaf species. Several species bore in lumber in buildings. Most species are wood borers in the bole of injured, dying and dead trees. Twenty six species are indigenous to North America (Furniss and Carolin 1977).

The life history and habits of Buprestis novemmaculata are poorly understood. Like many Buprestid species, early instar larvae feed on the inner phloem, while later instars bore into and overwinter in the heartwood. According to Freude et al. (1979), 2-4 years are required to complete a generation in Europe.

In Chile, pupae have been observed in November (Holsten et al. 1970), and adults are active from December through April. Peak adult abundance occurs in January and February (mid-summer in South America) (Eglitis and Holsten 1972). One generation per year is reported in Chile (Gara and others 1980). Adults are relatively strong flyers. Adults are commonly found on pines where they feed on foliage (Eglitis and Holsten 1972).

Economic Impact:    Buprestis novemmaculata typically infests limbs, slash, stumps, or logs that have been dead for at least one year. It is not known to cause tree mortality. There is some evidence that severely stressed or fire-damaged pines may be readily attacked (Durán 1963, Francke-Grosman 1963, Billings and Holsten 1969, Gara et al. 1980). Moreover, this species has not been implicated as a vector of pathogenic fungi, and poses little risk to healthy, well-managed forests. However, forests that undergo stress from prolonged drought or wildfire may produce large numbers of insects. In Chile, this insect behaves in much the same manner as it does in its natural range and it is not considered a pest.

Environmental Impact:   Like many wood-borers, Buprestis novemmaculata is important to wood decomposition, fragmentation and nutrient cycling. It is unknown how nutrient cycling rates may be affected through displacement or competition with native decomposers. Infestations are unlikely to alter existing forest structure and composition.

Control:    Control measures have not been developed for this insect but would likely include heat treatment or insecticide fumigation of logs prior to shipment from potentially infested areas (USDA Forest Service 1993). Debarking is not a reliable control method because late instar larvae bore deep into the wood (Schroeder 1990).

Symptoms:    Galleries in the phloem and tunnelling within wood are general symptoms of buprestid and other wood-borer infestations. The galleries are typically oval-shaped and frass filled. Adult exit holes are oval. These symptoms apply to virtually all flat-headed wood borers, both indigenous and exotic and are not specific to Buprestis novemmaculata.

Morphology:    Adults are colorful insects and popular with insect collectors. They are flattened and a metallic brown-black color. The area between the eyes and the edges of the pronotum are marked with yellow-orange bands. The elytra are deeply grooved and marked with four pairs of yellow-orange markings (Perez Valcarel 2002). Overall length is 13-20 mm. Males are smaller than females.

Two species of Buprestis indigenous to eastern North America, B. lineatum and B. rufipes superficially resemble B. novemaculata (Drooz 1985).

Larvae are typical ”flatheaded” woodborers with a greatly enlarged and flattened thorax. Body color is creamy white.

Testing Methods for Identification:    Examination of adults by a taxonomist with expertise in the family Buprestidae is required for positive identification.

Logs are unlikely to be attacked unless they have aged for at least one year (Billings and Holsten 1969). If logs remain decked adjacent to forested areas for extended periods of time, Buprestis novemmaculata may colonize the logs prior to processing. In 14 shipments of debarked pine pulpwood logs sent from Chile to Sweden, seven contained larvae and adults of B. novemmaculata. Moreover, three shipments contained larvae of other woodboring species (Schroeder 1990). Larvae or pupae may survive transport in infested logs unless treatment occurs prior to export. Adults are strong fliers and could disperse to adjacent forested areas.

Billings, R.F.; Holsten, E.H. 1969. Progreso realizado en la investigación de insectos forestales de pino insigne (Dic. 1967 hasta Agosto 1969). Santiago: División Forestal, Servicio Agrícola y Ganadero, Universidad de Chile, Cuerpo de Paz. 49 pp. (Mimeographed report).
Drooz, A.T. 1985. Insects of eastern forests. USDA Forest Service, Miscellaneous Publication 1425, 608 pp.
Durán, M.L. 1963. Insectos de importancia económica para la zona austral. Valdivia, Chile: Ministerio de Agricultura, Dirección de Agricultura y Pesca. 73 pp (In Spanish).
Francke-Grosman, H. 1963. Einige Beobachtungen über Schäden and Schädlinge in Pinus radiata Anpflanzungen bei Valparaíso. Zeitschrift für Angewandte Entomologie 51: 335-345 (In German).
Freude, H.; Harde, K.W.; Lohse, G.A. 1979. Die Käfer Mitteleuropas. Krefeld: Diversicornia, Goeke and Evers (In German).
Furniss, R.L.; Carolin, V.M. 1977. Western forest insects. USDA Forest Service, Miscellaneous Publication 1339, 654 pp.
Gara, R.I.; Cerda, M.L.A.; Donoso M.M.A. 1980. Manual de entomología forestal. Valdivia: Departamento de Silvicultura, Universidad Austral de Chile, 61 pp (In Spanish).
Herve, M. 1987. Presence de Buprestis novemmaculata L. en forêt de Rennes (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). L'Entomologiste 43 (5): 260 (In French).
Holsten, E.H.; Eglitis, A.; Edelman, D. 1970. Suplemento--progreso realizado en la investigación de insectos forestales de pino insigne (Agosto 1969-Agosto 1970). Santiago: Universidad de Chile, Cuerpo de Paz. 24 pp. (Mimeographed report) (In Spanish).
Horion, A.D. 1951. Verzeichnis der Käfer Mitteleuropas (Deutschland, Österriech, Tschechoslowakei). Alfred Kernan Verlag (In German).
Olave, L.E. 1953. Buprestis novemmaculata Linneaus in Chile. Revista Chilena de Entomología 3: 74.
Schroeder, L.M. 1990. Occurrence of insects in coniferous roundwood imported to Sweden from France and Chile. European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization Bulletin 20: 591-596.
Sueur, F. 1988. Presence de Buprestis novemmaculata L. dans la Somme (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). L'Entomologiste 44 (2): 88 (In French).
USDA Forest Service. 1993. Pest risk assessment of the importation of Pinus radiata, Nothofagus dombeyi, and Laurelia philippiana logs from Chile. Miscellaneous Publication 1517.
Zachariassen, K.E. 1997. Buprestis novemmaculata L. (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) found in Norway. Fauna Norvegica 44(2): 120-121.
Christopher J. Fettig
Name and Address of the First Author:
Christopher J. Fettig
Pacific Southwest Research Station
USDA Forest Service
1107 Kennedy Place, Suite 8
Davis, California
USA 95616
CREATION DATE:        09/01/01