Natural history studies for the preliminary evaluation of Larinus filiformis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) as a prospective biological control agent of yellow starthistle

TitleNatural history studies for the preliminary evaluation of Larinus filiformis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) as a prospective biological control agent of yellow starthistle
Publication TypeArticolo su Rivista peer-reviewed
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsGültekin, L., Cristofaro M., Tronci Carlo, and Smith L.
JournalEnvironmental Entomology
Volume37
Pagination1185-1199
ISSN0046225X
Keywordsadult, animal, Animals, Aprostocetus, Armenia, article, Asia, Asteraceae, Azerbaijan, beetle, biocontrol agent, Biological, biological control, biological pest control, Bracon urinator, Braconidae, Bulgaria, Cardueae, Centaurea, Centaurea solstitialis, Coleoptera, Curculionidae, dicotyledon, ecosystem, Eulophidae, Eurasia, Europe, Eurytomidae, Exeristes roborator, Female, food preference, Food Preferences, geography, Hexapoda, host parasite interaction, host plant, Host specificity, Host-Parasite Interactions, Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae, Larinus, life history, Lixinae, male, Ormyridae, Oviposition, parasitology, pest control, pest damage, phenology, physiology, season, Seasons, Southern Europe, Turkey, Turkey (republic), wasp, Wasps, weevil, Weevils, West Asia
Abstract

We studied the life history, geographic distribution, behavior, and ecology of Larinus filiformis Petri (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in its native range to determine whether it is worthy of further evaluation as a classical biological control agent of yellow starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis (Asteraceae: Cardueae). Larinus filiformis occurs in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Bulgaria and has been reared only from C. solstitialis. At field sites in central and eastern Turkey, adults were well synchronized with the plant, being active from mid-May to late July and ovipositing in capitula (flowerheads) of C. solstitialis from mid-June to mid-July. Larvae destroy all the seeds in a capitulum. The insect is univoltine in Turkey, and adults hibernate from mid-September to mid-May. In the spring, before adults begin ovipositing, they feed on the immature flower buds of C. solstitialis, causing them to die. The weevil destroyed 25-75% of capitula at natural field sites, depending on the sample date. Preliminary host specificity experiments on adult feeding indicate that the weevil seems to be restricted to a relatively small number of plants within the Cardueae. Approximately 57% of larvae or pupae collected late in the summer were parasitized by hymenopterans [Bracon urinator, B. tshitsherini (Braconidae) and Exeristes roborator (Ichneumonidae), Aprostocetus sp. (Eulophidae), and unidentified species of Eurytomidae and Ormyridae]. This weevil may be a better choice than the other capitula insects already established in the United States, particularly in colder parts of the plant's range.

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URLhttps://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-56049093882&doi=10.1603%2f0046-225X%282008%2937%5b1185%3aNHSFTP%5d2.0.CO%3b2&partnerID=40&md5=76c697f3ac9bd4b9bfc2a56fec3ca267
DOI10.1603/0046-225X(2008)37[1185:NHSFTP]2.0.CO;2