Eur. J. Entomol. 110 (2): 301-310, 2013 | DOI: 10.14411/eje.2013.043

Monitoring of Matsucoccus feytaudi (Hemiptera: Matsucoccidae) and its natural enemies in Spain using sticky tapes and pheromone traps

Eugenia RODRIGO1, Marta CATALÁ-OLTRA1, Eduardo PÉREZ-LAORGA2, Manuel BAENA3
1 Instituto Agroforestal Mediterraneo, Universitat Politècnica de València, Camino de Vera s/n, 46022 Valencia, Spain; e-mail: erodrigo@eaf.upv.es
2 Servicio de Ordenación y Gestión Forestal, Generalitat Valenciana, Francisco Cubells 7-3ª, 46011 Valencia, Spain
3 Departamento Biología y Geología, IES Trassierra, Avda. Arroyo Del Moro s/n, 14011 Córdoba, Spain

The maritime pine bast scale, Matsucoccus feytaudi Ducasse (Hemiptera: Matsucoccidae), occurs in the western part of the Mediterranean basin and is a sap sucking insect that feeds only on maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Aiton). It causes damage in SE France and Italy, where it was accidentally introduced. In Spain information is scarce and, moreover, almost nothing is known about the predators of this species. This study was designed to determine the seasonal trends in abundance of M. feytaudi and its major predators, which might help to improve the biological control of this pest in other areas. Natural P. pinaster stands in the Valencian Community (Spain) were surveyed in 2004. In addition, the seasonal trends in abundance of M. feytaudi and its natural enemies were monitored in three stands over a period of three years (2002, 2005 and 2006). The monitoring was carried by wrapping sticky tapes around tree trunks and using delta traps baited with sexual pheromone. The maritime pine bast scale was detected in all the stands surveyed. At almost all the sites surveyed, three species of predators were captured: Elatophilus nigricornis Zetterstedt (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae), Hemerobius stigma Stephens (Neuroptera: Hemerobiidae) and Malachiomimus pectinatus (Kiesenwetter) (Coleoptera: Malachiidae). The presence of M. pectinatus is noteworthy as this is the first record of this species as a possible predator of M. feytaudi. The results show that M. feytaudi, although differing in its phenology depending on the location, is univoltine in the study area. The prepupae, pupae and adults of M. feytaudi appeared between December and March in colder areas and between October and February in warmer areas. E. nigricornis nymphs are important predators of M. feytaudi, and were abundant when the scale insect (crawlers, prepupae, pupae, male and female adults) was present. The flight period of E. nigricornis and the hemerobiid H. stigma ranged from May to October. However, these flight patterns did not correlate with the presence of the different stages of the bast scale (crawlers, prepupae, pupae, male and female adults) on the surface of tree trunks. The presence of M. pectinatus in large numbers in some stands suggests it might be an important natural regulator, which helps to keep M. feytaudi populations at low densities in the areas of Spain studied. This malachiid shows a strong kairomonal attraction to the sexual pheromone of M. feytaudi and its flight activity is significantly correlated with the presence of crawlers of bast scale.

Keywords: Hemiptera, Matsucoccidae, Matsucoccus feytaudi, Spain, Neuroptera, Hemerobiidae, Hemerobius stigma, Hemiptera, Anthocoridae, Elatophilus nigricornis, Coleoptera, Malachiidae, Malachiomimus pectinatus, natural enemies, predators, host plant, Pinus pinaster, survey, phenology

Received: April 20, 2012; Accepted: September 19, 2012; Published: April 11, 2013

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