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Trapping wood boring beetles in Italian ports: a pilot study


Invasive alien species cost forestry billions of euros every year and their early detection is becoming of utmost importance. The aim of this study is to improve some of the techniques available for trapping alien wood boring beetles (Scolytinae, Cerambycidae, and Buprestidae) arriving at high-risk sites, such as ports. During 2009–2011, trapping carried out in four Italian seaports tested the comparative efficiency of different luring (single-lure vs. multi-lure traps) and trap designs (cross-vane vs. multi-funnel). In addition, trap captures within the ports were compared with those obtained in surrounding areas. Six out of 49 species trapped in 3 years of investigation were of alien origin: four Scolytinae and two Cerambycidae. The number of species trapped in multi-lure traps was as high as that resulting from the sum of the single-lure traps. The two trap designs performed equally well, but multi-funnel traps were more robust and easier to use in ports. In 2011, the number of species trapped in ports and surrounding areas was similar, although differently distributed. On a total of 26 species trapped in this experiment, nine were exclusive to ports, of which three aliens, eight were exclusive to surrounding areas, of which one alien, and nine were common to both habitats, of which one alien. In conclusion, we suggest the use of multi-funnel traps baited with different lures for monitoring alien wood boring beetles in ports. Using traps outside the port is also recommended to validate the surveillance program.