Stelidota geminata: a new pest on strawberries in Piedmont (NW-Italy).
The strawberry sap beetle Stelidota geminata (Say) (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) is a pest native to the northeastern United States, now widespread in other countries in North America and Europe. In Italy, it was first reported in 1995, while in Piedmont (NW-Italy) it was found on strawberries in 2009. The adults are less than 3 mm long, oval-shaped, and mottled brown in colour. Both adults and larvae feed on ripe and over-ripe fruits. The beetle attacks mainly strawberries, but it can develop also on fruits of other crop plants such as raspberry, blueberry, peach, cherry and melon. In the last years, in the north-eastern United States damage caused by S. geminata on soft fruits, and strawberries in particular, has been increased with important economic losses. Also in Piedmont severe damage has been recently observed on strawberries. Therefore, it will be essential not to underestimate infestations of this pest, because chemical control is often difficult to achieve. In fact, the strawberry sap beetle attacks ripening fruits, making very difficult to observe pre-harvest intervals.