Sawflies as important defoliating insects on high altitude pines in Italy.
With the exception of damage caused to cembran pines by Thaumetopoea pityocampa during periodic outbreaks in the larch-cembran pine forests of the European Alps, the most important defoliators which affect high-altitude pines (Pinus cembra, P. mugo and P. leucodermis) in Italy are sawflies (belonging to the Pamphiliidae and Diprionidae), with lachnids and fungi being less important. Some species of sawfly are found on 2 or more species of Pinus in diverse habitats. Neodiprion sertifer, which feeds on P. mugo at low and high altitudes, in upper pine stands takes 2 years to complete its life cycle both in the Alpine and Mediterranean mountain regions. Sawfly larvae seemed to be commonest, if not the only, pine needle feeders in the dry summer environments of the higher central and southern Appenines.