Articles

ACLEESCF. SP. FOVEATUS(COLEOPTERA CURCULIONIDAE), AN EXOTIC PESTOF FICUS CARICAIN ITALY: A SUSTAINABLE APPROACH TO DEFENCE BASEDON ALUMINOSILICATE MINERALS AS HOST PLANT MASKING SOLIDS


Abstract


The exceptionally frequent entries of alien pest are a major source of concern for the farmers who haveto protect their crops from unknown insects, often without natural enemies in the new areas. A new pestbelonging to the Molytinae family (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), tribe Hylobiini, reported as Acleessp. cf.foveatusVoss, was recently introduced in Italy. The species is responsible for severe damages in many Italianfig nurseries and orchards, particularly in the Italian Central Northern regions, i.e. Tuscany, Ligury andLatium. Currently, no active ingredients are registered against this insect on fig crops. An innovative and eco-friendly approach for controlling this exotic weevil infestation was investigated, by using montmorillonite-based clays, either in their native state or containing copper(II) species, and clinoptilolite zeolites, in order tocheck the perception of the adults’ weevil towards the different solid materials and, subsequently, to evaluatethe capability of these innovative products to act as masking agent with respect to the host plant and/or asrepellent upon contact. The formulations containing copper(II)-exchanged clay and clinoptilolite zeoliteshowed preliminary promising results in terms of efficacy and environmental sustainability.

Keywords

Asian fig weevil, alien pest, control, copper-containing clay, clinoptilolite zeolite,montmorillonite

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