Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Aclees sp. cf. foveatus, a real threat to Ficus carica in the Mediterranean area.

Abstract

After a first appearance in Tuscany (Central Italy) in 2005, Aclees sp. cf. foveatus (Coleoptera, Curculionidae) began to really concern fig growers, nurserymen and simple hobbysts of fig trees in 2014-2015; since these years they observed a continuous decaying and death of the fig plants. By now, Aclees has spread over much of the regional territories of the Northern and Central Italy on Ficus carica. Even if the species is an alien invasive pest, originating from Asia, the weevil is not considered a "quarantine" parasite, therefore mandatory control decrees are not in place. Aclees infests young and adult fig plants, compromising their vitality in only two-three years. The larvae develop inside the woody tissues, tunneling inside the plant and causing a general decay of the trees which represents the most characteristic symptom of the attack. Currently, no phytosanitary products are registered in Italy against this xylophagous on fig crops. In the last four years several laboratory and field tests have been carried out to better understand the bio-ethology of the species and to find control strategies to manage what turned out to be a real emergency. A literature review and new and interesting results concerning this pest are reported here.