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Details of data
Country or region name   Japan
Organism group   insect
Order name   Coleoptera
Family name   Chrysomelidae
Species name   Ophraella communa
English common name   ragweed beetle
Substantially same species (synonym)  
Year of invasion or detection   1996
Native region   North America
Situation of establishment   Category 4: Settled after 1951, but not distributed all over the country
Taxonomic description
Expansion of distribution area
  This insect was firstly found in Chiba and several cities around the Tokyo Bay in 1996 (Takizawa et al., 1999) and Osaka Prefecture in 1997 (Ichikawa et al., 1998). It expanded the distribution from Akita and Iwate Prefectures to Kagoshima Prefecture including 39 prefectures until the end of 2001 (Moriya and Shiyake, 2001; Moriya et al., 2002).

This beetle was firstly found in the area around the Tokyo Bay in 1996 and expanded its distribution almost all over the Kanto district in 1997; its speed of expansion was 120 km in this year (Takizawa et al., 1999). From the distribution records by Moriya and Shiyake (2001), an average speed of expansion is estimated at over 100 km/year until 1999.

Environmental impact
  The main host plant, ragweed Ambrosia artemisiifolia, produces serious allergenic pollen. In Japan, this insect often causes severe damage to the ragweeds, and sometimes kills the plants before their flowering. Thus, this insect may be a natural biocontrol agent against the ragweed. However, its ecological impact on the ragweed has not been accessed.
Economic damage
  The larvae and adults of this beetle could complete the life span by feeding on several cultivars of sunflower Helianthus annus, although the sunflower was less suitable as host than the ragweed Ambrosia artemisiifolia (Palmer and Goeden, 1991; Emura, 2000). In August and September, the insects have sometimes caused damage to sunflowers, especially to dwarf cultivars, sown in summer (Emura, 2000).
  In the laboratory, newly-emerging adults live long, a mean longevity being over 60 days (Tanaka, unpublished). The females reproduce after several days of a preovipositional period, e.g. 4 to 5 days at 25 C. The mean fecundity exceeds 1000 eggs per female (Tanaka, unpublished), although the overwintered females produce fewer eggs, 361 on an average (Emura, 1999). Emura (1999) estimates that this insect has four or five generations in a year in Kanto district, based on the effective accumulative temperature. However, it is likely that the insect has three or four generations estimated by its photoperiodic response and longevity (see [Growth] section).
  A life cycle of this species in Kanto district is estimated as follows. Overwintered adults occur to reproduce on young shoots of the ragweed in mid-April to early May. Adults of the first, second and third generations occur in June, July and August, respectively. A short day-length induces the reproductive diapause of the adults; a critical photoperiod is around 14 hr corresponding to early September (Watanabe, 2000). The fourth generation adults may emerge in September. The adults can live long and the latter generations overlap each other. Hence, a part of third generation adults may enter diapause. The adults disappear in October to November probably to overwinter. To complete a generation of this insect, the developmental zero and the effective accumulative temperature were estimated at 13.1 C and 303 day-degree, respectively (Emura, 1999). In Japan, effective natural enemies have not been found, although the pupae and adults were infected with a fungus Beauveria bassiana and the eggs, larvae or adults were attacked by several predators, ladybird larvae and adults Harmonia axyridis, green lacewing larvae, mantid nymphs and adults, stinkbug adults Piocoris varius and spider nymphs Agelena opulenta (Moriya et al., 2002). A parasitoid fly Chaetonodexodes vanderwulpi was found from the prepupae in California (Goeden and Ricker, 1985). In Japan, however, no parasitoids have not recorded.
Writer's name and affiliation
  © Written by Tanaka, K. National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences. (updated on 30, Oct., 2003)

Host species : 3
Organism group   plant
Order name   Asterales
Family name   Asteraceae
Species name   Ambrosia artemisiifolia var. elatior
English common name   Common ragweed, Ragweed
Substantially same species (synonym)  

Organism group   plant
Order name   Campanulatae
Family name   Compositae
Species name   Ambrosia trifida
English common name   Giant ragweed, Buffalo-weed
Substantially same species (synonym)  

Organism group   plant
Order name   Asterales
Family name   Asteraceae
Species name   Helianthus annuus
English common name   sunflower
Substantially same species (synonym)  

Photos of alien and similar species and damage : 2
No. Kind of Photo Photo Name of copyright holder and explanation of photo
1 Alien species oc1   Tanaka, K. A larva of the ragweed beetle.
2 Alien species oc2   Tanaka, K. An adult of the ragweed beetle.

Reference : 9
1   Author   Emura, K.
Year   1999
Title   The ragweed beetle Ophraclla communa LeSage (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidea) which injures harmful exotic plants. (In Japanese)
Magazine   Shokubutsu Boeki (Pl. Protec.)
Volume   53
Page   138-141
Key Word   ragweed beetle, Ophraella communa

2   Author   Emura, K.
Year   2000
Title   The ragweed beetle, Ophraclla communa LeSage. (In Japanese)
Magazine   Nogyo oyobi Engei
Volume   75
Page   210-214
Key Word   ragweed beetle, Ophraella communa

3   Author   Goeden, R.D. and D.W. Ricker
Year   1985
Title   The life history of Ophraella notulata (F.) on western ragweed, Ambrosia psilostachya De Candolle, in southern California (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).
Magazine   Pan-Pac. Entomol.
Volume   61
Page   32-37
Key Word   Ophraella notulata, western ragweed, Ambrosia psilostachya

4   Author   Ichikawa, K., T. Hosoi and Y. Miyatake
Year   1998
Title   Occurrence of Ophraclla communa LeSage in Osaka. (In Japanese)
Magazine   Nature Study
Volume   44
Page   8
Key Word   Ophraella communa

5   Author   Moriya, S. and S. Shiyake
Year   2001
Title   Spreading the distribution of an exotic ragweed beetle, Ophraella communa LeSage (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), in Japan. (In Japanese with English summary)
Magazine   Jpn. J. Ent. (N.S.)
Volume   4
Page   99-102
Key Word   ragweed beetle, Ophraella communa

6   Author   Moriya, S., K. Tanaka, K. Yamamura, T. Shimizu and S. Shiyake
Year   2002
Title   Expansion of the distribution range of the ragweed beetle, Ophraella communa LeSage, (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and its natural enemies in Japan. (In Japanese with English summary)
Magazine   Ann. Rept. Kanto Pl. Prot. Soc.
Volume   49
Page   131-133
Key Word   ragweed beetle, Ophraella communa, distribution

7   Author   Palmer, W.A. and R.D. Goeden
Year   1991
Title   The host range of Ophraella communa LeSage (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).
Magazine   Coleopt. Bull.
Volume   45
Page   115-120
Key Word   Ophraella communa, host range

8   Author   Takizawa, H., A. Saito, K. Sato, Y. Hirano and M. Ohno (1999) Invading insect, Ophraella communa LeSage
Year   1986
Title   Range extension and life history in Kanto district, Japan. (In Japanese)
Magazine   Gekkan-Mushi
Volume   338
Page   26-31
Key Word   Ophraella communa, life history, range extension, Kanto

9   Author   Watanabe, M.
Year   2000
Title   Photoperiodic control of development and reproductive diapause in the leaf beetle Ophraella communa LeSage.
Magazine   Entomol. Sci.
Volume   3
Page   245-253
Key Word   Ophraella communa, photoperiod, development, reproductive diapause

Habitat : 1
No. Habitat
1   weedy field/margin of field


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