The eucalyptus weevil Gonipterus platensis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) - ecology and control options

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The eucalyptus weevil Gonipterus platensis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) - ecology and control options Sofia Branco1,2, Manuela Branco2, Clara Araújo3, Ana R Reis3, Maria Rosa Paiva1,2 1Faculty of Sciences and Technology (FCT), Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL), 2829-516 Campus de Caparica. mrp@fct.unl.pt 2Centro de Estudos Florestais (CEF), Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), Universidade Tecnica de Lisboa (UTL), 1349-01 Lisboa. mrbranco@isa.utl.pt 3ALTRI Florestal S.A., Quinta do Furadouro, Óbidos. The eucalyptus weevil is an insect pest causing economic damage to plantations, as both larva and adults feed on eucalyptus leaves and young shoots, leading to reduced tree growth and tree mortality. Until recently, populations of this beetle were worldwide identified as Gonipterus scutellatus Gyllenhal (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). However, in 2012 G. scutellatus was resolved into a complex of cryptic species, native from different Australian regions, the species present in Portugal being Gonipterus platensis Marelli. In Portugal eucalyptus plantations extend over 740 000 ha and represent an income of about 2 million euro.year-1, that is 0.7% of the national GDP. Gonipterus beetles were first detected in Portugal in 1995 and control was attempted using the egg parasitoid of G. scutellatus, Anaphes nitens Girault (Hymenoptera: Mymaridae). Although at low altitudes success was achieved, in Central and Northern regions experiencing colder winters, the weevil populations could not be reduced below the economic threshold of damage. Failure was attributed to an ecological mismatch between the origin of G. scutellatus -Tasmania, and of the egg parasitoid - a warmer region in mainland Australia. G. platensis thus remains a threat to eucalyptus economic viability in colder regions of Portugal and Northwestern Spain. Therefore research has been directed to developing new efficient control measures, such as improving tree resistance, chemical control, or seasonal augmentativerelease of A. nitens, as conducted by Altri Florestal over the last six years. A review of the little known ecology of G. platensis is presented, and prospects for biological and biotechnological control options explored.
Original languageUnknown
Title of host publicationXV Congresso Ibérico de Entomologia, Universidade dos Açores, Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira, Portugal. 2-6 de Setembro.
Pages139
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
EventXV Congresso Ibérico de Entomologia, Universidade dos Açores, Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira, Portugal. 2-6 de Setembro. -
Duration: 1 Jan 2012 → …

Conference

ConferenceXV Congresso Ibérico de Entomologia, Universidade dos Açores, Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira, Portugal. 2-6 de Setembro.
Period1/01/12 → …

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