Bulletin of Insectology (2006) 59, 59-67

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Giovanni Burgio, Roberto Ferrari, Luca Boriani, Marco Pozzati and Joop van Lenteren (2006)
The role of ecological infrastructures on Coccinellidae (Coleoptera) and other predators in weedy field margins within northern Italy agroecosystems
Bulletin of Insectology 59 (1), 59-67
Abstract: The insect predator complex in weedy margins adjacent to crops was studied in order to understand the ecological role of non-crop habitats on polyphagous predators in a northern Italian rural landscape. Weedy field margins at ten sites, in Bologna province, of different age and maturity which were adjacent to hedgerows, were sampled wit a sweep net. Coleoptera (Coccinellidae) and Rhynchota (Nabidae) were the most abundant groups sampled in these weedy margins. Hippodamia variegata (Goeze) was the most abundant coccinellid species, followed by Coccinella septempunctata L. and Propylea quatuordecimpunctata (L.). Among the tribe of Scymnini, Scymnus rubromaculatus (Goeze) and S. apetzi Mulsant were the most abundant species. A consistent population of Anthocoris sp. was recorded at one site only, and these Anthocorids probably originated from the adjacent pear orchard. The age and maturity of the hedgerows appear to influence the abundance and distribution of predator families in the adjacent weedy margins. Nabidae were the most abundant insects within margins adjacent to old hedgerows. These old hedgerows showed generally a more uniform distribution of relative predator abundance than younger hedgerows. The margins adjacent to young hedgerows were characterised by a strong predominance of Coccinellidae. Correspondence Analysis performed on predator abundance ordinated the sites according to the age of adjacent hedgerows and the intensity of ecological infrastructure management. The phenology of Coccinellidae was studied. These predators showed two developmental peaks: the first between June and July, and the second between September and October. Particularly the first peak showed large populations of coccinellid larvae in the weedy margins. The knowledge of the phenology of these beneficial predators results in a recommendation for the rational management of ecological infrastructures in order to preserve and improve coccinellid and other predator populations.
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Database assignments for author(s): Giovanni Burgio, Joop C. van Lenteren, Roberto Ferrari

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
biocontrol - natural enemies
Research topic(s) for beneficials or antagonists:
environment/habitat manipulation

Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.

Coccinella septempunctata (predator)
Hippodamia variegata (predator) Italy
Scymnus apetzi (predator) Italy
Propylea quatuordecimpunctata (predator)
Scymnus rubromaculatus (predator)