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The spread of the non-native pine tortoise scale Toumeyella parvicornis (Hemiptera: Coccidae) in Europe: a major threat to Pinus pinea in Southern Italy

Antonio Pietro Garonna (1)   , Alessandro Foscari (1), Elia Russo (2), Giovanni Jesu (1), Silvano Somma (1), Pasquale Cascone (2), Emilio Guerrieri (2-3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 11, Issue 5, Pages 628-634 (2018)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2864-011
Published: Oct 04, 2018 - Copyright © 2018 SISEF

Research Articles


Invasive pests are considered a major threat to biodiversity, conservation and agriculture. The Italian peninsula is a major site of intensive commercial exchange and transport of plants and goods, being consequently one of the European countries most invaded by alien insects. Hemiptera Coccomorpha are the largest group of non-native species recorded in Europe. For example, in the last 70 years more than 50 scale insect species have been accidentally introduced into Italy, 50% of which are now well established. This study was conducted to investigate the biology and the damage of the non-native pine tortoise scale Toumeyella parvicornis Cockerell (Hemiptera: Coccidae) accidentally introduced a few years ago into southern Italy. T. parvicornis is multivoltine in the invaded territories, being able to complete at least three generations per year, overwintering in the adult female stage. Oviposition periods during 2015-2017 surveys occurred from late April to end of May, from July to first half of August, and from mid-September to November. Fecundity was positively correlated to body size of gravid females and varied among the generations. Investigations on natural control by autochthonous species showed a seasonal activity of Metaphycus flavus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), parasitizing mainly immature male individuals. The morpho-molecular approach confirms the hypothesis of an ongoing shift of parasitoid populations from other indigenous soft scales to the invasive one. Unfortunately, the low level of natural control was ineffective in hampering the spread of T. parvicornis, and preventing the dieback of local pine species, Pinus pinea, as observed in all invaded areas.

  Keywords


Invasive Pest, Europe, Toumeyella parvicornis, Life History, Pinus pinea, Natural Control

Authors’ address

(1)
Antonio Pietro Garonna
Alessandro Foscari
Giovanni Jesu
Silvano Somma
Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, v. Università 100, I-80055 Portici, Napoli (Italy)
(2)
Elia Russo
Pasquale Cascone
Emilio Guerrieri
CNR, Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante (IPSP), v. Università 133, I-80055, Portici (Italy)
(3)
Emilio Guerrieri
Department of Life Sciences The Natural History Museum, London (UK)

Corresponding author

 
Antonio Pietro Garonna
garonna@unina.it

Citation

Garonna AP, Foscari A, Russo E, Jesu G, Somma S, Cascone P, Guerrieri E (2018). The spread of the non-native pine tortoise scale Toumeyella parvicornis (Hemiptera: Coccidae) in Europe: a major threat to Pinus pinea in Southern Italy. iForest 11: 628-634. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2864-011

Academic Editor

Massimo Faccoli

Paper history

Received: May 24, 2018
Accepted: Jul 13, 2018

First online: Oct 04, 2018
Publication Date: Oct 31, 2018
Publication Time: 2.77 months

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