Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract Full Text

First record of Beauveria bassiana on Tomicus minor in Sicily.

Abstract

Tomicus minor (Hartig) (Coleoptera Curculionidae Scolytinae) was found breeding in Pinus nigra calabrica (for the first time in this subspecies) in the Etna national park (Sicily) in two sites in 2013 and in another site in 2015. We used morphological features of the beetle, a molecular marker (barcoding region of the COI gene) and characteristics of the breeding system to verify the species affiliation. The results of these three traits were in accordance. Moreover, we screened living and dead beetles for pathogens. Dissecting living beetles did not exhibit any pathogens except unidentified hyphae of entomopathogenic fungi. Beauveria bassiana was found on dead T. minor collected from galleries. Species affiliation was studied by applying cultural, morphological, and molecular (ITS marker) methods. This is the first evidence of the fungus on this pest confirmed by molecular tools and the first record of B. bassiana on T. minor in Sicily. These data contribute to the knowledge of the distribution of this beetle in Italy. Moreover, the findings of B. bassiana bring more light in the pathogen complex of T. minor and help to understand the biology of this important forest insect.