An overview on the natural enemies of Rhynchophorus palm weevils, with focus on R. ferrugineus
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AutorMazza,Giuseppe; Francardi,Valeria; Simoni,Sauro; Benvenuti,Claudia; Cervo,Rita; Faleiro,Jose Romeno; Llacer,Elena; Longo,Santi; Nannelli,Roberto; Tarasco,Eustachio; Roversi,Pio Federico
Rhynchophorus palm weevils are large insects belonging to the family Dryophthoridae. All Rhynchophorus species are polyphagous and have a similar life history but some are major pests because of the serious economic damage they cause, in particular to several species of the family Arecaceae. Here we review the natural enemies of Rhynchophorus species in both their native and introduced regions of the world, to assess the possibility of biological control of this taxon. Moreover, particular attention is paid to the well-studied and harmful species Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, about which more information is available, and to its natural enemies in the Mediterranean region, because the impact of this pest in this recently colonized area is particularly remarkable and also the recent trend in species management is looking for indigenous natural enemies. More than 50 natural enemies have been reported to attack Rhynchophorus species, even if most of them are associated to R. ferrugineus (Olivier), highlighting the lack of information on the other species of the genus. Pros and cons of all the biological control agents are then discussed: among the considered organisms, fungi are noteworthy to be considered for inclusion in integrated pest management programs. Overall, our overview underlines the need to increase knowledge on natural enemies of all the species of the genus Rhynchophorus, to isolate more virulent strains and to determine the optimum conditions for the actions of the biocontrol agents. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.