Bioecological notes on Xylosandrus compactus (Eichhoff) (Coleoptera Curculionidae Scolytinae), a species recently recorded into Italy


Intense trade flows favour the accidental diffusion of alien plant and animal species harmful to agricultural crops and forest ecosystems in many parts of the world. Particularly prone to such introductions are lignicolous species of woodboring beetles that attack living plants and can develop in lumber or crating wood, such as many species belonging to the subfamilies Scolytinae and Platypodinae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Investigations of marked witherings of laurel twigs (Laurus nobilis L.) carried out from autumn 2010 in an area of the Versilia coast (Lucca) revealed that the Black twig borer, Xylosandrus compactus (Eichhoff), was involved in this pathological expression. This species was recently recorded for the first time in Italy on ornamental plants in some localities in the Naples’s province. Here we report its essential external morphological features, with useful characters for its distinction from X. germanus (Blandford), a morphologically similar species, as well as its essential bioecological features, with special reference to what has been observed in the abovementioned area of Tuscany. This should facilitate the rapid identification and verification of new outbreaks and, where possible, the timely implementation of control strategies.


Black twig borer; insect pest introduction; Laurus nobilis

Full Text: