Xylosandrus compactus is also called black twig borer and sometimes shot-hole borer. The adult females are dark brown to almost shiny black, 1.4-1.9 mm long and about two times longer than wide. The small, wingless males are reddish black and measuring 0.9–1.3 mm in length. Xylosandrus compactus is an arrhenotokus species in which males are born from unfertilized eggs (0.3 -0.5 mm) and females from fertilized ones.
Xylosandrus crassiusculus is also called Asian ambrosia beetle or granulate ambrosia beetle. Adults are small dark reddish brown scolytids (female: 2-3 mm long, males: 1.5 mm). Larvae are white, legless, C-shaped with a well-developed capsule, and cannot be easily distinguished from other scolytids. Populations essentially contain females (1:10 male-female ratio). Adult males do not fly and remain inside the galleries. Also X. crassiusculus is an inbreeding species (females mate with their brothers).
Both Xylosandrus compactus and X. crassiusculus are highly polyphagous pests which can feed on many tree and shrub species. Each has been found on more than 200 host plants. X. crassiusculus apparently doesn’t attack Coniferae while X. compactus was found on monocotyledonous plants such as orchids, ginger (Zingiber) and conifers (Pinus spp.)
X. compactus: tea (Camelia sinensis), cacao (Theobroma cacao), fruit trees (e.g. Annona, Ficus carica, Macadamia ternifolia, litchi (Litchi chinensis), avocado (Persea americana), forest trees in young plantations (e.g. Aucoumea sp., Eucalyptus, Entandrophragma, Khaya, Erythrina, Melia azedarach, Swietenia), and in Italy and France Ceratonia siliqua, Laurus nobilis, Pistacia lentiscus, Quercus ilex, Ruscus aculeatus, and Viburnum tinus, Arbutus unedo, Laurus nobilis, Phillyrea sp..
X. crassiusculus: In tropical areas, it has been reported on economically important crops (e.g. Camellia sinensis, Carica papaya, Cocos nucifera, Coffea arabica, Mangifera indica, Theobroma cacao) or forest tree species (e.g. Aucoumea kleineana, Tectona grandis). In more temperate areas, it has been reported on many fruit and nut crops (e.g. Carya illinoinensis (pecan), Ceratonia siliqua (carob), Diospyros kaki, Ficus carica (fig), Malus domestica (apple), Prunus avium (cherry), P. domestica (plum), P. persica (peach)); as well as on many forest and ornamental woody species (e.g. Acacia, Alnus, Azalea, Cornus, Eucalyptus, Hibiscus, Koelreuteria, Lagerstroemia, Liquidambar, Magnolia, Prunus, Quercus, Populus, Salix, Ulmus).
Xylosandrus compactus was detected in Italy’s Campania, Tuscany and Liguria regions, in France in Saint Tropez and Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and in Antibe’s Bothanical Garden of Villa Thuret.
Xylosandrus crassiusculus has been recorded in Central-North Italy, near Nice and in Ile Saint Marguerite near Cannes and in El Pla de les Clotxes, Benifallò in the Spanish Valencia region.
Ambrosia beetles such as Xylosandrus spp. establish a symbiosis with microfungi. Some fungal taxa such as Ambrosiella xylebori are providing the diet for the larvae of the insects in the galleries where they find an optimal environment for their growth. Others, such as Fusarium spp. or Raffaelea spp. , are pathogenic to host plants causing different level of damages including shoot wilt, necrosis and stem cankers. Symbiotic fungi are associated to a specific structure of the insect, the mycangium, but are also present on other parts of the insect body.
SAMFIX starts with the identification and development of specific lures and traps for both species and the initial design of trapping networks. From December 2018 stakeholders will be informed and trained.
From March 2019 trapping networks are set up in and around all affected areas.
Activities are implemented during three seasons (2019, 2020, 2021) and updated on basis of all data collected.
From 2020 Natura 2000 parks in the neighbourhood of the project sites are supported in replicating the prevention and early warning systems.
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