Stored-product insect natural enemies in wheat industry in Sicily


Abstract: The cultivation of wheat in Sicily (Italy) has its origins in ancient times and today it turns out to be the one that invests the largest areas in the island. Connected to this cultivation, a flourishing industry of primary and secondary processing has been developed and is particularly competitive in the global market thanks to the qualitative features of Sicilian durum wheat. In the last decade research activities were undertaken in order to implement hygienic quality by studying infesting arthropods and by developing integrated control methods. In this context, during the monitoring activities of the stored grain pests carried out over the past decade in several grain industries and warehouses in Sicily, the following natural enemies were collected: Withius piger, Xylocoris flavipes, Anisopteromalus calandrae, Theocolax elegans, Habrobracon hebetor, Venturia canescens, Cephalonomia spp. More extensive researches are currently in progress for some of these species. Here we discuss their potential use in the framework of the IPM programs.

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