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Burgio G.,University of Bologna | Ragaglini G.,SantAnna School of Advanced Studies | Petacchi R.,SantAnna School of Advanced Studies | Ferrari R.,Centro Agricoltura Ambiente Giorgio Nicoli | And 2 more authors.
Bulletin of Insectology

A spatial analysis of Agriotes sordidus (Illiger) (Coleoptera Elateridae) was carried out on data collected by means of pheromone traps in a farm of 500 hectares in northern Italy. The main objective of the paper was to analyse the spatial distribution of this economic pest, in order to optimise the monitoring; another aim was to understanding the spatial patterns of this insect in relation to the geographic and agronomic management of the site investigated. Spatial distribution was studied by means of geostatistical analysis of the total number of captured individuals per year (variable Sum) and the peak of population density (variable Peak). Data were analysed using the total of traps and reduced datasets by means of re-sampling simulations. The semi-variograms showed that adults of A. sordidus exhibited a strong aggregative pattern in the investigated area, confirming previous preliminary studies. Kriging contour maps were used to describe spatial aggregation of A. sordidus. Cross-validation analysis demonstrated that the simulations with 50% of the total of traps produced maps with a good concordance between estimated and measured values, with the caution to maintain a uniform distribution of the sample points within the monitored area. Simulations by means of geostatistics were suitable to optimise the monitoring in order to obtain a compromise between precision and feasibility. This study provided an interpretation of the spatial dynamics of A. sordidus adults on meso-scale, leading to an estimation of the risk-zones for pest damage. Further studies are needed in order to understand the role of a number of agronomic variables on the populations of A. sordidus, to design zones of different risk of infestation and to optimize the monitoring and management of this economic pest in northern Italy. Source

Medici A.,Centro Agricoltura Ambiente Giorgio Nicoli | Carrieri M.,Centro Agricoltura Ambiente Giorgio Nicoli | Scholte E.-J.,Dutch National Center for Monitoring of Vectors | Maccagnani B.,Centro Agricoltura Ambiente Giorgio Nicoli | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Economic Entomology

To set up a sterile male technique program to control Aedes albopictus (Skuse) in areas in northern Italy, a pilot mass-rearing facility is under development. For this purpose, experiments were carried out to find the optimal larval density for the optimization of the rearing parameters, i.e., to obtain the fastest larval development, the highest larval and pupal survival rate, and large-sized pupae. Several different larval densities, from 40 to 2,874 larvae per liter, were tested. For densities from 40 to 600 larvae per liter significant size differences were found among pupae obtained under different larval densities. The larvae raised at the lowest density tended to be smaller and to develop most slowly, i.e., longer pupation time. Also, increasing water volume and depth seemed to negatively affect the pupation success. Compared with the other larval densities tested, the larvae reared at a density of 2,874 larvae per liter developed slightly faster and showed higher survival rates, indicating this density as appropriate for the development of a mass rearing, at least using the current larval diet. © 2011 Entomological Society of America. Source

Velli A.,Centro Agricoltura Ambiente Giorgio Nicoli | Sommaggio D.,University of Bologna | Maccagnani B.,Centro Agricoltura Ambiente Giorgio Nicoli | Burgio G.,University of Bologna
Bulletin of Insectology

The present research aims to study the syrphid fauna in a protected area ("Bora", recognized as Site of Community Importance from the EU Habitats Directive) within a highly anthropised area in Northern Italy. Within the study-area, four habitat types were selected using the Corine Land Cover manual, including: Eutrophic lake, Salix and Populus gallery, plain oak forest and Meso- European bush. Observations were assessed using Malaise traps and entomological net. Collected data were analysed using Syrph the Net, an informative standard tool used in Europe for habitat evaluations. Marshy area was the dominant habitat, but hoverfly fauna didn't present a suitable list of species connected to this habitat. Syrphid species typical of bushes and grass lawn were recorded. The sampling of typical forest species showed the important role of wood habitats within the agroecosystem to improve local biodiversity, with the exception of saproxylic syrphid species, which were not sampled. The stress factors were supposed to be caused not by a specific management deficit but mainly by the isolation of those habitats involved in the biodiversity loss. For conservation purposes and an improved environmental quality, it seems crucial to strengthen landscape connectivity via linking small wet areas and wood remnants of the protected field with sites characterised by high biodiversity. Source

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