Journal of Pest Science

, Volume 92, Issue 1, pp 143–156 | Cite as

Palmageddon: the wasting of ornamental palms by invasive palm weevils, Rhynchophorus spp.

  • Ivan MilosavljevićEmail author
  • Hamadttu A. F. El-Shafie
  • Jose Romeno Faleiro
  • Christina D. Hoddle
  • Michael Lewis
  • Mark S. Hoddle


Urban areas landscaped with ornamental palms, especially Canary Islands date palms (Phoenix canariensis), are particularly vulnerable to incursion by invasive palm weevils, Rhynchophorus spp. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Metropolitan palmscapes are often resource rich in terms of palm species diversity and density, and these areas typically have numerous conduits (e.g., air, road, or sea transportation hubs) that assist with international and regional trade and tourism which can facilitate accidental or deliberate weevil introductions. Once established in urban areas, Rhynchophorus populations may be hard to suppress, from where they can expand their range and threaten agricultural commodities or native palms in wilderness areas. Here, we review current knowledge about relationships between Rhynchophorus invasions and urban environments. Further research areas should be addressed to improve forecasts of invasion risks and to complement management options for detection and control. We propose that greater attention be paid to quarantine restrictions on live palm movements and pro-active early detection and monitoring programs in areas deemed to be at high risk of invasion and establishment. In response to an incursion, we advocate the deployment of containment and eradication campaigns in urban zones when populations are small and highly localized.


Ornamental palms Palm weevils Invasive pest management Monitoring Biological control 



This publication was supported by the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through Grant 17-0275-044-SC. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.


This publication was supported by the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through Grant 17-0275-044-SC. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EntomologyUniversity of California RiversideRiversideUSA
  2. 2.Date Palm Research Center of Excellence (DPRC)King Faisal UniversityAl-AhsaSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.SalcetteIndia
  4. 4.Center of Invasive Species ResearchUniversity of California RiversideRiversideUSA

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