Natural enemies emerged from Thaumetopoea pityocampa (Denis & Sciffermüller) (Lepidoptera Notodontidae) pupae in Southern Italy.


Observation made over a 4-year period in pinewoods of Apulia Region (South Italy) on Thaumetopoea pityocampa (Denis Sciffermüller) (Lepidoptera: Notodontidae) prepupae and pupae, indicated the following natural enemies complex: Hexamermis sp. (Nematoda: Mermithidae), Phryxe caudata (Diptera: Tachinidae), Villa brunnea and Hemipenthes velutina (Diptera: Bombyliidae), Conomorium pityocampae (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae), Coelichneumon rudis and Cryptus sp. (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae), Beauveria bassiana and Isaria farinosa (formerly Paecylomices farinosus) (Ascomycota: Hypocreales). The moths and the parasitoid species emerged sequentially and, although these natural enemies show irregular distribution, they together controlled up to 60% of T. pityocampa pupae. Ecological implications of such parasitism are being discussed.


entomopathogenic fungi; virulence, myco-insecticide; microbial pest control

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