GEOLINKS International Conference 2021, Book 2
ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
FIRST RECORDS OF AZALEA SAWFLY NEMATUS LIPOVSKY SMITH, 1974 (HYMENOPTERA: TENTHREDINIDAE) IN LATVIA
Dr. Biol. Inga Apine, BSc. Biol. Uģis Piterāns
Invasive non-native insect species are well-known threat to both local and introduced plant species in Europe. With increasing global trade and effects of climate change it is expected these alien species will continue to expand their distribution areas. One such non-native species is azalea sawfly Nematus lipovskyi Smith, 1974 (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae) that feeds on deciduous Rhododendron spp. This species is known to occur in the USA and was found in the Czech Republic for the first time in Europe in 2010. We report the first findings of this species in Latvia that were made based of field observations in the period of 2018-2020. The current known status of the species in Latvia is presented. Our observations of damage caused by sawfly larvae are summarized. Host plants used by sawfly larvae are listed – we note Rhododendron albrechtii as a host plant of this species for the first time. The possible pathways of its introduction and the overall importance of our findings in context with other non-native species expansions are briefly discussed.
invasive species, Nematus lipovskyi, Europe, Latvia, Rhododendron