Platypus cylindrus Fab. (Coleoptera: Platypodidae) control strategies


Abstract: The oak pest Platypus cylindrus Fab. (Coleoptera: Platypodidae) is encounteredthroughout Eurasia and Mediterranean area, including North Africa; it is thus present in all themain cork oak producing countries. This ambrosia beetle carries symbiotic fungi that it inoculatesin galleries excavated in the tree. The insect can affect the host as both wood borer and vector ofpotentially pathogenic fungi. In order to perform P. cylindrus control, it is essential to adoptpreventive management strategies that improve the tree physiological state, favour the auxiliaryfauna occurrence and maintain a good sanitary level of cork oak stands. So far, direct control ofinsects’ populations has not been achieved. In some countries, insecticides have been used buttheir application in cork oak stands is not advisable and their final effect is limited. Usingattractants to control this species constitutes a tool of great interest. A P. cylindrus aggregationpheromone has been identified as a mixture of hexanol, sulcatol and sulcatone, as well as akairomone composed by α-thujone, camphen and β-pinen. Both substances are under study.Understanding the insect-fungi interactions can lead to the establishment of indirect controlmeasures by inhibiting the associated mycobiota. Testing the use of fungicides is in progress forlimited applications; taking advantage of natural antagonistic relations between specific fungimight be an interesting new option.

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