Agatino Russo

Agatino Russo
University of Catania | UNICT · Department of Agriculture Food and Environment (Di3A)

About

94
Publications
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1,331
Citations
Additional affiliations
December 2002 - present
University of Catania
Position
  • Professor (Full) of General and Applied Entomology
November 1993 - present
University of Catania
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (94)
Article
Full-text available
The cotton mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is an extremely polyphagous invasive pest that can cause serious damages to cultivated plants. The pest is native to America but invaded Asian and Mediterranean countries during the last decades. Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill., Solanaceae) is an economic relevant...
Article
Pest control is easier and more effective when pests are correctly identified. The Black Parlatoria Scale, Parlatoria ziziphi (Lucas, 1853) (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha: Diaspididae) is an important invasive pest in citrus-growing countries. This diaspidid has historically been difficult to control, because its immature stages are difficult to identify...
Article
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Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is an invasive generalist predator, which has been used as a biological model to investigate several research questions and is also an effective biocontrol agent against agricultural pests. Its laboratory colonies are often maintained on natural prey that are costly, and thus alternative dietary...
Article
The adult female of a new species of armoured scale insect, Diaspidiotus aetnensis Nucifora, Watson and Mazzeo sp. n. (Hemiptera: Coccomorpha: Diaspididae), is described and illustrated. It was collected in Sicily on the endemic birch, Betula aetnensis Raf. (Betulaceae). We provide supplementary notes on Diaspidiotus alni (Marchal), D. wuenni (Lind...
Article
Ecotoxicological risk assessments of pesticides on non-target arthropods are often carried out under constant and optimal temperature regimes. However, living organisms rarely experience these conditions in real field situations. Understanding the impact of pesticides on non-target beneficial arthropods under temperature stresses is especially impo...
Article
en The factors influencing the entry and the spread of the black twig borer, Xylosandrus compactus (Eichhoff), in the Mediterranean environment have not yet been characterized. Following its first report in Sicily (southern Italy) in 2016, and due to the high level of damage it causes on one of its host plants (Ceratonia siliqua L.), the flight act...
Article
The Opuntia cochineal scale or false carmine cochineal scale, Dactylopius opuntiae (Cockerell) (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae), is spreading rapidly in many countries, especially in the Mediterranean basin, where it has become a serious pest of prickly pear crops, Opuntia ficus‐indica (L.) Miller (Cactaceae). This crop is an important food resource both...
Article
Heat treatments (HTs) for pest control represent a promising, fast, and non-chemical method to disinfest commodities and structures with a significantly reduced environmental impact compared with the chemical approach. An entomological and economic study has been conducted to determine the technical efficacy and economic feasibility of HT in mills...
Article
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Among botanical extracts used as insecticides, essential oils (EOs) are promising alternatives to chemical insecticides. EOs are synthesized by plants, and they play a key role in plant signaling processes including also attractiveness toward pollinators and beneficial insects. Plant species producing essential oils (over 17,000 species) are called...
Article
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Estimated seasonal abundance of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1894) (Diptera, Culicidae) in the municipality of Catania (eastern Sicily, Italy) is provided and discussed. A monitoring campaign was carried out in urban and suburban sectors of the city during the autumn of 2007 and all of 2008 and 2013. Populations of the mosquit...
Article
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ABSTRACT: Synthetic chemicals are extensively used to limit the substantial crop damage induced by two closely related scale insects, the vine mealybug Planococcus ficus (Signoret) and the citrus mealybug Planococcus citri Risso (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae). Both organisms are economically important pests occurring in vineyards and/or in citrus orch...
Article
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Yam is an important West African crop and is an inexpensive source of carbohydrate. Many people of Central African origin living in South Italy buy imported tubers to prepare their preferred recipes. Aspidiella hartii (Cockerell) infests yam tubers marketed in Bari (South Italy). Adult female scales on tuber bark are brownish, subcircular and about...
Article
Full-text available
A correction to this article has been published and is linked from the HTML and PDF versions of this paper. The error has been fixed in the paper.
Poster
ABSTRACT: Common control strategies to manage stored product pests are mainly based on the use of synthetic insecticides for direct applications and as fumigants. The use of chemical pesticides in food industry is strictly regulated, limiting the range of available products. However, the rising demand of consumers for pesticide-free food and the in...
Article
Parasitoids can suppress populations of their host and thus play a primary role in Integrated Pest Management. We studied foraging cues in Holepyris sylvanidis (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae), a larval parasitoid of Tribolium species, in a four-chamber olfactometer. H. sylvanidis is reported as a cosmopolitan parasitoid of Coleopteran including two major...
Chapter
Previous reviews on biological control of stored-product pests published during the last 30 years reported results of laboratory experiments, collected examples for practical application in grain stores and in processing companies, and summarized the literature on the relevant control agents dating back to the beginning of the last century.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The importance of eco-friendly solutions to control pests is due to the pressure deriving from consumers and politics. Scientists are presenting solutions to match both the legal requirements and the need of industries producing organic food. Although Bethylidae have been less studied if compared to parasitoids belonging to other families, they rep...
Article
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Heat treatments (HT) for pest control represents a promising non-chemical method to control stored grain arthropods with a significant reduction of environmental impact compared to other chemical methods. For mills, pest control in post-harvest workspaces is considered as one of the activities that might highly affect the environment due to the che...
Article
Full-text available
Plants respond to herbivorous attack through a defence system that includes structural barriers, release of toxic chemicals, and attraction of natural enemies of the target pests, etc. In this study, plants of Bougainvillea glabra Choisy (Nyctaginaceae) were artificially infested with the obligate phloem-feeding insect pest Phenacoccus peruvianus G...
Article
The aim of this study was the development of a method to improve the effectiveness of heat treatment (HT) for insect pest control in flour mills by thermal analyses and temperature trend models. Specific attention was paid to surface temperatures of thermal bridges (TBs), which represent HT weakness points because they provide refuge to insects and...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was the development of a method to improve the effectiveness of heat treatment (HT) for insect pest control in flour mills by thermal analyses and temperature trend models. Specific attention was paid to surface temperatures of thermal bridges (TBs), which represent HT weakness points because they provide refuge to insects and...
Article
Full-text available
The repeated use of conventional synthetic pesticides in crop protection leads to resistance development by pests along with a negative impact on the environment, particularly non-target arthropods. Plant-derived active compounds, such as essential oils (EOs), play a key role in sustainably controlling pests. The lethal and sublethal activity of ci...
Article
Full-text available
The composition of two different Origanum vulgare essential oils (EOs) was analysed by gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GC-FID) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS); their repellent and antimicrobial effects were evaluated against adults and late-instar larvae of Tribolium confusum and adults of Sitophilus oryzae (Insecta:...
Article
Bethylidae is a family belonging to the insect order Hymenoptera and contains about 2 200 described species. Bethylids typically parasitize larvae of Lepidoptera and Coleoptera, including species that are serious pests of stored products. Here, we review the main characteristics of each of the bethylids reported as biological control agent of these...
Article
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Key scale insects that have long been considered as having high economic importance in Tunisia and for which several research studies and pest management programs have been undertaken include the mealybug species Planococcus ficus (Signoret) and Planococcus citri Risso, the soft scale Saissetia oleae (Olivier) and the armored scale Parlatoria zizip...
Article
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In October 2014 samples were collected from olive trees growing in South-Eastern Sicily (Italy) that were showing wilting symptoms. In the field, clear signs of flagging appeared on young twigs and lateral shoots, and many leaves had fallen to the ground. Initial laboratory examinations of attacked twigs revealed the presence of a large number of a...
Article
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Background: Complexity of both natural and managed ecosystems involves various forms of interaction among organisms. Two or more species that exploit the same resource can engage in competitive behaviors, usually referred to as intra-guild interactions. These can be direct, i.e. one species feeds directly upon the competitor (intra-guild predation...
Article
Full-text available
Key scale insects that have long been considered as having high economic importance in Tunisia and for which several research studies and pest management programs have been undertaken include the mealybug species Planococcus ficus (Signoret) and Planococcus citri Risso, the soft scale Saissetia oleae (Olivier) and the armored scale Parlatoria zizip...
Article
Parasitoids can suppress populations of their host and thus play a primary role in Integrated Pest Management. The parasitic wasp Cephalonomia waterstoni Gahan (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae) is a natural enemy of the rusty grain beetle Cryptolestes ferrugineus (Stephens) (Coleoptera: Cucujidae). In the stored product environment, stimuli deriving from p...
Article
Holepyris sylvanidis (Hymenoptera: Bethylidae) is reported as a cosmopolitan parasitoid of coleopteran including a major pest of stored products, the confused flour beetle Tribolium confusum. The reproductive biology, and hence biocontrol potential of H. sylvanidis is relatively little known. Here we describe and evaluate aspects of egg size, immat...
Article
Key scale insects that have long been considered as having high economic importance in Tunisia and for which several research studies and pest management programs have been undertaken include the mealybug species Planococcus ficus (Signoret) and Planococcus citri Risso, the soft scale Saissetia oleae (Olivier) and the armored scale Parlatoria zizip...
Article
Full-text available
Here we review the arthropod pests most damaging to pomegranate cultivation in the main production regions of the Circum-Mediterranean area, and discuss the eventual phytosanitary risks linked to some newly introduced species in this geographical area. The arthropod species mentioned here are based on their occurrence and economic importance. These...
Article
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Nesidiocoris tenuis (Reuter) (Hemiptera: Miridae) is an important natural enemy of several key arthropod pests. However, in tomato crop this predator can cause economic damage owing to its zoophytophagous behavior. We investigated in laboratory conditions the influence of two alternative plants, Dittrichia viscosa L. (Asteraceae) and Sesamum indicu...
Article
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We studied the acute toxicity and the sublethal effects, on reproduction and host-killing activity, of four widely used insecticides on the generalist parasitoid Bracon nigricans (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a natural enemy of the invasive tomato pest, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae). Laboratory bioassays were conducted applying maximum inse...
Article
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The establishment of the pineapple mealybug Dysmicoccus brevipes (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in Italy is reported in this paper. The different instars of the mealybug found during winter in Sicily on the aerial roots of adult date palms (Phoenix dactylifera L.), suggests that D. brevipes has a strong capability to survive and continue its developme...
Article
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The Persea Mite Oligonychus perseae Tuttle, Baker and Abbatiello, is reported for the first time in Italy. The pest was found on avocado in Sicily (South Italy), in August 2014. The predatory mite Iphiseius degenerans (Berlese) was found in association with O. perseae colonies.
Article
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Past works on scale insects (Hemiptera: Coccoidea) from the Maltese Archipelago are reviewed. Based on the literature and contemporary collections, a total of 93 species of scale insects belonging to 12 scale insect families are here reported (Aclerdidae 1 species; Asterolecaniidae 4; Coccidae 17; Diaspididae 46; Eriococcidae 5; Kermesidae 1; Marga...
Article
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The introduction of ornamental plants into Italy for commercial and hobby purposes has provided scale insects with many chances of dispersion. Coccoidea often go unnoticed at border controls due to their cryptic lifestyle. Moreover, many of the introduced alien species become acclimatized outdoors, possibly due to the effects of urban pollution and...
Conference Paper
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A brief revision of the insect synthetic semiochemicals applied in IPM of the scale insects infesting cultivated Citrus was undertaken. Although more than 300 species of scale insects are worldwide reported on Citrus, in Italy only 26 species were recorded as pests and less than 10 are key pests, such as the Citrus mealybug Planococcus citri (Risso...
Article
Full-text available
Scale insects of ornamental plants recently introduced in Italy and Europe Ornamental plants perform different roles beyond the purely aesthetic, providing shade, privacy and making pleasant places inhabited by men. They often come from tropical and subtropical countries carrying out several insects, and among these mainly scale insects. Scale inse...
Article
Packaging represents a critical step in the food quality preservation and the ultimate defence against insect pests. Cereal-based foods may be infested by insects even during their packed life, i.e. during distribution, transportation and storage in warehouses or in retail stores. Many studies in the last years have concerned the development of act...
Conference Paper
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The cultivation of wheat in Sicily (Italy) has its origins in ancient times and today it turns out to be the one that invests the largest areas in the island. Connected to this cultivation, a flourishing industry of primary and secondary processing has been developed and is particularly competitive in the global market thanks to the qualitative...
Conference Paper
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Gli autori riportano l’elenco delle specie di lepidotteri catturate con le trappole luminose normalmente utilizzate dalle industrie alimentari della filiera cerealicola nell’ambito dei programmi di monitoraggio. Tali specie sono state raccolte in un molino a grano duro, in uno a grano tenero, all’interno di un panificio industriale con annesso moli...
Conference Paper
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Vengono riportate osservazioni sulle risposte olfattive saggiate con olfattometro z a due vie in condizioni di laboratorio, di Anisopteromalus calandrae (Howard) (Hymenoptera Pteromalidae) e Habrobracon hebetor (Say) (Hymenoptera Braconidae) ad alcuni dei feromoni di sintesi reperibili in commercio per il monitoraggio delle rispettive specie ospiti...
Article
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Some vine mealybug, Planococcus ficus (Signoret) populations in Tunisian vineyards have been morphologically and genetically characterized. The morphological examination was based on the main distinctive characteristics of species of Planococcus, namely the number and distribution of the multilocular disc pores and tubular ducts on the adult female...
Article
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Honeydew-excreting hemipterans, such as mealybug pests, can be protected from their natural enemies by tending ants in return for honeydew, thereby compromising the aims of biological control. In this respect, antagonistic interactions between the ant Tapinoma nigerrimum, native to the Mediterranean basin, and the main natural enemies of both the v...
Article
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Laboratory studies assessing the degree of suitability of the mealybugs Planococcus ficus (Signoret), Planococcus citri (Risso) and Pseudococcus calceolariae (Maskell), towards the Sicilian ecotype of the encyrtid parasitoid Anagyrus sp. nr. pseudococci were carried out. All three species of mealybugs were shown to encapsulate the eggs of the encyr...
Article
Full-text available
Control of the invasive vine mealybug Planococcus ficus (Signoret) can be achieved through integration of different management strategies such as the application of chemical treatments and biological control. However, compatibility between these control methods is considered crucial when adopting integrated pest management (IPM) programs against th...
Article
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A first comprehensive checklist of the scale insects of Portugal, including Azores and Madeira Archipelagos, is presented comprising a total of 168 species: 124 from Mainland, 109 from Madeira, and 52 from Azores. The listed species are distributed among 85 genera and 15 families.
Article
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In 2009, two mealybug species Planococcus ficus (Signoret) and Planococcus citri (Risso) and an armoured scale species, Hemiberlesia 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....
Article
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The correct identification of pests is a basic requirement in IPM strategies for crop protection. In the case of Planococcus species the discrimination between similar taxa using morphological features is sometimes difficult because it is based on few microscopic characteristics not easily detectable. This is the case of the polyphagous and cosmopo...
Article
Biogeographia vol. )OO( - 2011 (Pubblicato il 23 dicembre 2011) La Biogeografia della Sicilia Considerazioni biogeografiche sulla coccidiofauna della Sicilia GAETANA MAZZEO, AGATINO RUSSO, POMPEO SUMA Dzpartimento di Gestione dei Sistemi Agroalimentari eAmbz'em‘alz' sez. Entomologia czgmrizz, via 5. Sofia 100, 95100 Catania (Italy) e-mail: gamzzzzeo @...
Article
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The "potato trap" technique was applied for the first time in Italian (Sicily) vineyards in an attempt to assess: a) the impact of the kairomonal activity of the vine mealybug sex pheromone (S)-(+)-lavandulyl senecioate (LS) on the parasitism of mealybugs by the encyrtid Anagyrus sp. near pseudococci, b) the influence of two commonly used insectici...
Article
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A survey performed in 2009 within 52 Tunisian olive groves, located in 17 different olive-growing sites, revealed the occurrence of six scale insects on olives. The identified species were: the armoured scales Aspidiotus nerii Bouche. Lepidosaphes ulmi (L.), and Parlatoria oleae (Colvee), the soft scales Saissetia oleae (Olivier) and Filippia folli...
Conference Paper
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The results of a survey in 2006-2009 on high quality hard wheat, coming from 31 different storage centers located in Southern Italy, are reported. About 300 samples were analyzed by visual test, while 891 by both sieving and biological test. For the three different kinds of test the infesting species are listed and their relative incidence on the s...
Article
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Insect attacks to food packages are a major concern for food producers, who are often blamed for being responsible for the occurrence of contamination which seriously affects the image of the company. Wheat semolina is commonly packed in paper bags, which do not always offer sufficient protection against insect pests. The present research evaluated...
Article
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Scale insects are frequent invaders of new territories. The Bougainvillea mealybug, Phenacoccus peruvianus Granara de Willink, 2007, was recorded in Europe for the first time in 1999 in Spain (Almeria) and later in 2002 in Italy (Sicily). Initially, this unknown species was identified provisionally as Phenacoccus sp. Records of this species became...