, Volume 85, Issue 2, pp 169-177

Euzophera bigella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and Dasineura oleae (F. Low) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae): Emerging olive crop pests in the Mediterranean?

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Abstract

The olive is one of the most important crops in Greece as in many Mediterranean countries. Several insects are considered serious pests of the olive crop. In this study, we report two new pests for olive trees in Greece and possibly in the Mediterranean region: the quince moth Euzophera bigella (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and the olive leaf gall midge Dasineura oleae (F. Low) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae). Although E. bigella is not considered a pest of olive trees, in the summer of 2011, the quince moth was recorded for the first time infesting olive trees in several orchards in the rural area of the Municipality of Amphipolis (Region of Central Macedonia). Infestation induced cracking and swelling symptoms on the bark of limbs and the periderm of trunks, accompanied by extensive internal bark necrosis, which caused the desiccation of limbs or even the death of whole trees. D. oleae has been reported infesting olive trees in Greece; however, it was not considered a pest of the crop. In February 2010, extensive infestations by D. oleae were detected in the coastal zone of Elounda, Lassithi (Region of Crete). Infestations were observed on the leaves causing elongate galls and deformations, while in highly infested trees defoliation was reported. Because of the scarceness of these infestations, the results reported in this study are discussed in relation to cases reported from other countries and/or on other crops. In addition, a review of the distribution, biology and control methods of these species is provided in an attempt to summarize the scattered information currently available.

Communicated by M. Traugott.