Identification and genetic diversity of two invasive Pissodes spp. Germar (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in their introduced range in the southern hemisphere

Academic Article


  • During the first half of the twentieth century, two accidental cases of introduction of Pissodes weevils were recorded from the southern hemisphere. The weevils in South Africa were identified as the deodar weevil (Pissodes nemorensis) and those in South America as the small banded pine weevil (Pissodes castaneus). Wide distribution of the two species in their invasive range, general difficulty in identifying some Pissodes spp., and the varying feeding and breeding behaviours of the species in South Africa has necessitated better evidence of species identity and genetic diversity of both species and population structure of the species in South Africa. Barcoding and the Jerry-to-Pat region of the COI gene were investigated. Morphometric data of the South African species was analysed. Our results confirmed the introduction of only one Pissodes species of North American origin to South Africa. However, this species is not P. nemorensis, but an unrecognized species of the P. strobi complex or a hybrid between P. strobi and P. nemorensis. Only P. castaneus, of European origin, was identified from South America. We identified ten mitochondrial DNA haplotypes from South Africa with evidence of moderate genetic structure among geographic populations. Terminal leader and bole-feeding weevils did not differ at the COI locus. A single haplotype was identified from populations of P. castaneus in South America. Results of the present study will have implications on quarantine, research and management of these insect species.
  • Authors

  • Wondafrash, Mesfin
  • Slippers, Bernard
  • Garnas, Jeffrey
  • Roux, Géraldine
  • Foit, Jiri
  • Langor, David W
  • Hurley, Brett P
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • August 2016
  • Has Subject Area

    Published In


  • Bark weevils
  • Genetic diversity
  • Invasive forest insects
  • Pissodes castaneus
  • Pissodes nemorensis
  • Population structure
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 2283
  • End Page

  • 2297
  • Volume

  • 18
  • Issue

  • 8