The predatory beetle Atheta coriaria - health and environmental risks
Report no: 2020:12
Available evidence suggests that the predatory beetle Atheta coriaria can survive in low winter temperatures, and that it can reproduce in Norwegian summer climates.
Thus concludes the Scientific Committee for Food and the Environment (VKM) in a risk assessment of the species. The assessment is needed for an application for approval of the pesticide Athea-System for use in Norway. Atheta coriaria is active organism in this pesticide.
Atheta coriaria has been observed repeatedly in Norway since 1919, from the regions of Agder in the south to Trøndelag in the middle of Norway.
“It has been documented that the predator beetle is found in southern and central Scandinavia. This suggests that it survives relatively low winter temperatures and can reproduce in a Norwegian summer climate. The species overwinters in the ground and adult individuals can fly and spread rapidly,” says Johan Stenberg, Scientific Leader of the project team.
The temperature tolerance of the predatory beetle has not been studied in detail.
"VKM has not found reports describing harm to people from the predatory beetle," adds Johan Stenberg. He adds, however, that Athea-System also consists of cheese mites as food for A. coriaria. Cheese mites can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people handling the product.
The risk assessment is approved by the Panel on Plant Health and was commissioned by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority.