The red palm weevil pursues its progress through France.
This is the first of 3 papers in a special feature on the protection of plant health, and it looks at the rapid expansion of the distribution of the red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) in France, where the pest was first detected in 2006 in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. This expansion in distribution is risking a big change in coastal landscapes, where palms are much used as an ornamental species. The biology of the pest, which attacks about 20 species (principally the Canary palm [Phoenix canariensis] and the date palm [P. dactylifera], but also Washingtonia, Butia, Chamaerops, Brahea, etc.) and symptoms of infestation are described, and measures towards its control, including quarantine, the reduction of pruning (as pruning wounds can attract infestation) and the management of infested trees discussed.