Articles

POPULATION DYNAMICS AND SEASONAL ABUNDANCE OF THAUMASTOCORISPEREGRINUSIN EUCALYPTUSPLANTATIONS IN SARDINIA (ITALY)


Abstract


Thaumastocoris peregrinusis a eucalyptus pest native to Australia. It is currently the only species belonging to theThaumastocoridae family in Europe. In Italy, it was reported for the first time in Latium in 2011, whereas in Sardinia itwas detected in January 2015 on a Eucalyptus camaldulensis plantation located in the south of the island. Our researchteam carried out a monitoring program for two-years in order to verify its geographical distribution, the main periods ofinfestation, the flight peaks of the adults and to also detect the presence of unhatched eggs on leaves. During the firstyear, the occurrence of adults of T. peregrinuswas verified by yellow sticky traps placed in twelve areas distributedthroughout the island where Eucalyptus plantations were located. In the second year, the population dynamics and theoccurrence of eggs on leaves were evaluated only in three representative study areas, already included in the previousmonitoring program, located in the north, centre and south of the island, respectively. Field surveys showed thepresence of T. peregrinusin all the monitored locations. The highest adult population was observed from late summer toinitial autumn, with a significant increase in adults caught by yellow sticky traps from August, which reached its peakin September and gradually decreased in the following months. The presence of eggs of T. peregrinuson leaves fromJune to December also indicates that the insect is currently well established in the region.

Keywords

bronze bug, Eucalyptuspest, nonnative species, monitoring.

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