The SMARTER Ophraella survey

Ophraella communa. Peter-Toth

Ophraella communa. Peter-Toth

The leaf beetle Ophraella communa is an important natural enemy of the invasive plant common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia. It was for the first time found in Europe in 2013, where it had already well established in Southern Switserland and on the Po plain in Northern Italy.

The beetle may provide a powerful natural solution to the ragweed problem, but it may also have negative effects on other plants. In both cases, management practice of Ambrosia may need to be adapted. Therefore, it is essential to monitor the spread of this beetle in Europe.

Ophraella distribution 2013 (Müller-Schärer et al 2014)

Ophraella distribution 2013 (Müller-Schärer et al 2014)

The more data on the occurrence of Ophraella are available, the better we can assess its distribution, spread, and impact. Therefore, the international research network SMARTER has initiated this survey.

Join forces, join our survey!

 

What to do?

When you find Ophraella on ragweed plants, record the date and geographical location (site name and GPS coordinates). If you have no tools to measure GPS coordinates in the field, they can be found using google maps: http://www.gps-coordinates.net/. If possible, take a picture of the beetle to confirm its identity.

How to find and recognize Ophraella?  

  1. Look for populations of Ambrosia artemisiifolia
  2. Look for feeding damage on the plants
  3. Look for the beetle (See the Ophraella recognition card and the Ophraella picture gallery)

How to report your finding?

Use this new sheet SMARTER-Ophraella-survey_2016 to collect your records. Send it to by 1 October 2016, together with your pictures. We will get back to you about the results.

Questions?

Many thanks for your valuable contribution!