NovIGRain project reveals presence of a new invasive storage beetle species in Slovakia

The EU project novIGRain (HORIZON2020) has revealed a new record for the invasive storage tenebrionid beetle species Cynaeus angustus (LeConte, 1851) in Slovakia. This can be considered an unexpected side benefit of the novIGRain (HORIZON2020) project. The newly recorded species Cynaeus angustus was found in a sample of grains from a grain store, in addition to several project target species (e.g. Sitophilus oryzae, Tribolium confusum, Oryzaephilus surinamensis). This finding was not accidental occurrence of a single pest individual since the sample contained 7 adults and multiple larvae of C. angustus.

This species originates from North America, where it causes damage in various food facilities and commodity storage, and its economic importance is ranked as “species significantly damaging commodities,” (Hagstrum and Subramanyam, 2009). Cynaeus angustus started spreading from the USA and Canada in the 1980s, reaching South America. Since the 1990s, this species has been reported from Europe: Finland (1992), Sweden (1995), France (2006), Estonia (2015), Ukraine (2016), Russia (2016), Czech Republic (2017), Poland (2017), Lithuania (2020), Hungary (2020), Romania (2021), and Bulgaria (2023). It is evident that this species is currently spreading in Europe, and the very recent predictive models of its distribution suggest that it could inhabit most European countries in the future (Zhao et al., 2023).

Our observations indicate that C. angustus may be capable of infesting and damaging stored food/commodities  in Europe. The EU should, therefore, be prepared to face this new invasive pest threat. Notably, information on C. angustus sensitivity towards currently used pesticides, as tools for slowing its spread, are needed.

Read the article by Zhao et. al., 2023