A new additional record of Phloeosinus armatus Reitter from Italy (Coleoptera Curculionidae Scolytinae)


In the early 1990s, outbreaks of the Cypress bark beetle Phloeosinus armatus Reitter were reported on Cupressus sempervirens L. and C. arizonica Sarg. in north-western Italy (Liguria). About 10 years later, this bark beetle, whose distribution range is originally the eastern Mediterranean, was found again in the same region on rows and isolated plants of Mediterranean cypress. In this paper P. armatus is reported for the first time on C. sempervirens in central Italy (Tuscany), where this insect species is widespread both on ornamental trees and on woodland formations. A taxonomic key is presented for the identification of both the male and female adults of P. armatus among species of the genus Phloeosinus Chapuis living on Cupressaceae in south-western Europe. Due to its greater size, compared with the indigenous species P. aubei, and the behavioural similarities in the adult maturation phase among the two species, P. armatus could convey large quantities of inoculum of the fungus Seiridium cardinale (Wagener) Sutton et Gibson, causal agent of cypress canker. The need for extensive monitoring and specific research for the development of attractants and traps to capture the adult bark beetles is emphasized.


Alien forest insects; xylophagous; Cupressus sempervirens; Phloeosinus armatus; Mediterranean Cypress; bark beetle Scolytids; alien species

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