ORIGINAL ARTICLE
A survey of scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) and tending ants in Tunisian vineyards
 
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1
Dipartimento di Gestione dei Sistemi Agroalimentari e Ambientali Sezione Entomologia Agraria, Università degli Studi Via Santa Sofia, 100, 95123 Catania, Italy
2
Department of Plant Protection and Post-harvest Diseases Laboratory of Entomology, National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia – University of Carthage 43 Charles Nicolle Avenue, 1082 Cité Mahrajène, Tunis, Tunisia
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Ramzi Mansour
Dipartimento di Gestione dei Sistemi Agroalimentari e Ambientali Sezione Entomologia Agraria, Università degli Studi Via Santa Sofia, 100, 95123 Catania, Italy
 
Journal of Plant Protection Research 2011;51(3):197–203
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ABSTRACT
In 2009, two mealybug species Planococcus ficus (Signoret) and Planococcus citri (Risso) and an armoured scale species, Hemi- berlesia lataniae (Signoret) were recorded throughout Tunisian table-grape vineyards. P. ficus was by far the most widespread scale insect species within the investigated grape growing areas and was also recorded on fig trees. Among 31 inspected vineyards, 8 were non-infested, 16 slightly to moderately infested, and 7 highly infested by mealybugs. Therefore, the latter are principal pests in vine - yards and should be sustainably managed to avoid major crop losses on grapevine. Six ant species were found in Tunisian mealybug- infested table-grape vineyards. They are Tetramorium semilaeve André, Plagiolepis schmitzii (Forel), Tapinoma nigerrimum (Nylander), Crematogaster schmidti (Mayr), Pheidole pallidula (Nylander) and Pheidole teneriffana Forel. The four latter species were reported tending mealybugs on grapevines. T. nigerrimum was found to be the ant most associated with the pseudococcid mealybugs. Our findings are new data for Tunisian grape-growing areas and will contribute to enhance Integrated Pest Management programs in vineyards
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors have declared that no conflict of interests exist.
 
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