The predatory ability of ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) against insect pests can offer an important service to agricultural activities and may sometimes be directly exploited in biological control strategies. The codling moth Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae) is a major agricultural pest of fruit orchards, whose biological control is complicated by the fact that the larvae spend most of their life protected within the fruits they damage. In a recent experiment in Europe, pear trees in which ant activity was artificially increased by the addition of sugary liquid dispensers (artificial nectaries) suffered less damage caused by the larvae to their fruits. While some ants were already known to prey upon the mature larvae or pupae of C. pomonella in the soil, prevention of fruit damage would require predation upon eggs or newly hatched larvae, which have not yet excavated into the fruits. We verified whether two different Mediterranean ants frequently observed in fruit orchards, Crematogaster scutellaris and Tapinoma magnum, were able to prey upon C. pomonella eggs and larvae in laboratory conditions. Our experiments demonstrated that both species similarly attacked and killed young C. pomonella larvae. On the other hand, the eggs mostly attracted the attention of T. magnum but were never damaged. Further field assessments are required to understand whether ants may also interfere with oviposition by adults or whether larger ant species, although generally rarer in orchards, may also prey upon eggs.

Predatory Abilities of Two Mediterranean Ants on the Eggs and Larvae of the Codling Moth Cydia pomonella / Schifani, E.; Giannetti, D.; Grasso, D. A.. - In: INSECTS. - ISSN 2075-4450. - 14:2(2023), pp. 97.1-97.7. [10.3390/insects14020097]

Predatory Abilities of Two Mediterranean Ants on the Eggs and Larvae of the Codling Moth Cydia pomonella

Schifani E.
;
Giannetti D.;Grasso D. A.
2023-01-01

Abstract

The predatory ability of ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) against insect pests can offer an important service to agricultural activities and may sometimes be directly exploited in biological control strategies. The codling moth Cydia pomonella (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae) is a major agricultural pest of fruit orchards, whose biological control is complicated by the fact that the larvae spend most of their life protected within the fruits they damage. In a recent experiment in Europe, pear trees in which ant activity was artificially increased by the addition of sugary liquid dispensers (artificial nectaries) suffered less damage caused by the larvae to their fruits. While some ants were already known to prey upon the mature larvae or pupae of C. pomonella in the soil, prevention of fruit damage would require predation upon eggs or newly hatched larvae, which have not yet excavated into the fruits. We verified whether two different Mediterranean ants frequently observed in fruit orchards, Crematogaster scutellaris and Tapinoma magnum, were able to prey upon C. pomonella eggs and larvae in laboratory conditions. Our experiments demonstrated that both species similarly attacked and killed young C. pomonella larvae. On the other hand, the eggs mostly attracted the attention of T. magnum but were never damaged. Further field assessments are required to understand whether ants may also interfere with oviposition by adults or whether larger ant species, although generally rarer in orchards, may also prey upon eggs.
2023
Predatory Abilities of Two Mediterranean Ants on the Eggs and Larvae of the Codling Moth Cydia pomonella / Schifani, E.; Giannetti, D.; Grasso, D. A.. - In: INSECTS. - ISSN 2075-4450. - 14:2(2023), pp. 97.1-97.7. [10.3390/insects14020097]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11381/2940711
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