David Mifsud

David Mifsud
University of Malta, MSIDA, MALTA · Institute of Earth Systems, Rural Sciences and Food Systems Division

BSc, MSc, PhD, FRES, FLS, MOM.

About

165
Publications
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1,512
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Publications

Publications (165)
Conference Paper
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The development of a common database of alien plant species present in Sicily and Malta is one important target of the FAST project funded under Interreg V-A Italia-Malta 2014-2020 call 2/2019. The project, in full coherence with European strategy for the protection of the biodiversity, will counteract the introduction, naturalization and spread of...
Article
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The investigation of 20 populations of Pisolithus spp. collected from the Maltese Islands resulted in three different records. Pisolithus albus and P. marmoratus are new to Malta and were found associated with Eucalyptus spp. The third species, P. arhizus, was confirmed from two new stations, and both were associated with Quercus ilex. A brief morp...
Article
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The eumenine fauna of the Maltese Islands is reviewed and 17 species are asserted as occurring in the mentioned territory. Of these, Parodontodynerus ephippium and Stenodynerus fastidiosissimus are recorded for the first time from the Maltese archipelago. An annotated species list and a key to species are provided. Three doubtful records are also d...
Article
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Contrary to what its name suggests, Nemesia arboricola is not strictly arboreal in habit. Here we compare female specimens of N. arboricola collected from arboreal and terrestrial nests. We furthermore describe the male of N. arboricola for the first time as well as two recently discovered species of Nemesia (N. maltensis sp. nov. and N. cominensis...
Article
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Cortinarius ayanamii (Fungi, Cortinariaceae). The first record of a Cortinarius species for the Maltese Islands.-Borziana 2: 081-086. 2021-ISSN: 2724-5020 online. A small cluster of yellowish caramel-brown macromycetes growing under Cistus monspeliensis L. in Nadur, Gozo, has been identified as a Cortinarius species for its rough morphology, weak c...
Article
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The gasteruptiid fauna of the Maltese archipelago is reviewed for the first time. Four species of Gasteruption are found to inhabit the Maltese Islands, and Gasteruption tanyakronum n. sp. van Achterberg is described on the basis of material collected from Malta and Sardinia (Italy).
Article
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Background With numerous endemic subspecies representing four of its five evolutionary lineages, Europe holds a large fraction of Apis mellifera genetic diversity. This diversity and the natural distribution range have been altered by anthropogenic factors. The conservation of this natural heritage relies on the availability of accurate tools for s...
Article
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Breeding of Locusta migratoria cinerascens in the wild is reported for the first time in the Maltese Islands. This was established following the discovery of four late-instar nymphs from Aћrax tal-Mellieћa, which were collected and reared. One individual successfully attained maturity in captivity. The presence of this species in the Maltese Island...
Article
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Bitoma siccana is here recorded for the first time from Malta and it seems that the species is already well established. This constitutes the fourth record for Europe.
Article
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The ensign wasp fauna of the Maltese Islands is reviewed for the first time. The family Evaniidae is represented by three species, the cosmopolitan Evania appendigaster (Linnaeus), the Mediterranean Zeuxevania splendidula (Costa), and Brachygaster minutus (Olivier), widely distributed in Europe and north-northeast Africa. A key to genera is provide...
Article
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The cockroach wasp fauna of the Maltese Islands is reviewed. The family Ampulicidae is represented by solely two congeneric species, Dolichurus corniculus (Spinola) and Dolichurus haemorrhous A. Costa, the latter is here recorded for the first time from the Maltese archipelago.
Article
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Eight species of Crabronidae are recorded from the Maltese Islands for the first time: Cerceris flavilabris (Fabricius), Miscophus niger Dahlbom, Oxybelus trispinosus (Fabricius), Passaloecus brevilabris Wolf, Trypoxylon scutatum Chevrier, Prosopigastra creon (Nurse), Mimumesa unicolor (Vander Linden) and Nitela lucens Gayubo & Felton. Of these, Pr...
Article
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An updated and annotated list of jewel beetles from the Maltese Islands is provided. One species, Acmaeodera pilosellae pilosellae (Bonelli, 1812), represents a new record for this territory. In order to aid identification, colour photographs of all species are included, and for each species relevant notes are provided.
Article
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The genus Coelioxys is recorded from the Maltese Islands for the first time on the basis of a specimen of Coelioxys (Allocoelioxys) afra Lepeltier, 1841. A checklist of the 24 species of Megachilidae occurring in Malta is also provided.
Article
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For over 160 years, the cicadas inhabiting the Maltese Islands were assigned to the widespread European species Cicada orni Linnaeus. However, analysis of their calling song reveals with certainty that the taxon known to occur in the archipelago is, in fact, the sibling species Cicada barbara Stål.
Article
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Two chalcidoids are reported from the Maltese Islands for the first time: Megastigmus pistaciae Walker (Megastigmidae) and Chalcis biguttata Spinola (Chalcididae). Notes on their biology are provided, with special reference to M. pistaciae reared from seeds of Pistacia lentiscus in Malta.
Article
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Faunistic data of 30 species of Tenebrionidae from the Maltese archipelago is provided with the following first records: Corticeus fraxini (Kugelann), Latheticus oryzae Waterhouse (both new for the Maltese Archipelago), Heliopates avarus dwejrensis Scupola & Mifsud, Nalassus aemulus aemulus (Küster), and Xanthomus pallidus (Curtis) (all new for the...
Article
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Hemipteran material collected from the Maltese Islands has yielded eleven species previously unrecorded, belonging to three different suborders as follows: nine new records of Auchenorrhyncha (Bursinia sicula Emeljanov, Chloriona sicula Matsumura, Eupteryx zelleri (Kirschbaum), Euscelis cf. ohausi Wagner, Opsius cypriacus Lindberg, Paralimnus phrag...
Article
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The introduction and establishment of the North American mud-dauber wasp Sceliphron caementarium (Drury, 1773) is reported for the first time from the Maltese Islands. A checklist of the Maltese Sphecidae is provided.
Article
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Maltese honey has been produced, marketed, and sold as an exclusive local gourmet food product for countless years. Yet, thus far, no study has evaluated the individuality of this local food product. The evaluation of the parameters and properties which characterise the provenance and floral source of honey have been the subject of various studies...
Article
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Five species, four genera, two subfamilies of Diapriidae and the family itself are all recorded as new to the Maltese Islands based on material collected from Verdala Palace by David Mifsud (DM). A provisional key to the genera of Maltese diapriids is provided to facilitate further research.
Article
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Ten new records of ichneumon wasps are reported for the first time from Malta. A checklist of all 56 species of Ichneumonidae so far recorded from Malta is also included.
Article
en Halyomorpha halys, commonly known as the brown marmorated stink bug, has been recorded for the first time from the Maltese Islands. The record is currently based on the capture of a single specimen. Information is provided on the distribution range of this polyphagous species which was accidentally introduced into Europe (Switzerland) in 2007 an...
Article
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Faronus rica sp. nov. endemic to Malta is described and illustrated, and placed in the Faronus hispanus species group. Faronus rica sp. nov. is closely related to F. siculus Fiori, 1913, an endemic species to Sicily, and they can be distinguished based on morphological features highlighted in the present work.
Article
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Fourteen species of Ichneumonidae are here recorded from the Maltese Islands. Of these, all were reared from Lepidoptera hosts with the exception of Netelia (Paropheltes) inedita (Kokujev) which was collected from a malaise trap. Of these, the following species (or genera) are here reported for the first time from the Maltese Islands: Chirotica mer...
Article
Colaphellus palaestinus Achard, an alien invasive species is here reported for the first time for Europe. It was found for the first time in Malta in November 2017, and the year after thousands of individuals were observed in Malta with many photographs posted in social media and local news. Global distribution of this species and information on cl...
Article
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Thirty-three species of Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera) are newly recorded from the Maltese Islands, of which, 19 include host data. An updated checklist for the 181 chalcidoid species recorded from Malta is also included, which belong to 17 families as follows: Agaonidae (3), Aphelinidae (21, 1 as new record), Azotidae (1), Chalcididae (8 species, 5 as...
Article
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Rhaphitelus mathildae sp. n. is described from Malta and compared to the three previously known species in the genus. A key to the four known species of Rhaphitelus is provided together with notes on their biology and distribution.
Research
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Apis mellifera ruttneri, the honey bee subspecies endemic to Malta, must be regarded as seriously endangered. However, there is a critical need for scientific data to support and guide conservation measures, since only two scientific papers concerning this subspecies were published since its original description in 1997. To this end in June 2017, a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Apis mellifera ruttneri, the honey bee subspecies endemic to Malta, must be regarded as critically endangered. First, the arrival of the Varroa mite in the 1990's had devastating effects on the number of colonies, and nowadays increasing pressure from importations of selected commercial stock (A. m. ligustica, A. m. carnica, Buckfast) is leading to...
Conference Paper
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Apis mellifera ruttneri is an endemic honeybee confined to the Maltese Islands and is one of just ten honey bee sub-species described in Europe. It is an important receptacle of environmental adaptations and if it is to thrive, it is essential that suitable habitats that can provide adequate foraging, with minimal exposure to competitors and pathog...
Article
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A new species of Baryscapus Foerster is described. Baryscapus ecballii sp. n. was reared from puparia of Henosepilachna elaterii (Coleoptera Coccinellidae). This ladybird beetle is often a pest of economically important cucurbitaceous plants. Some biological observations on the new species are also provided. © 2018, Department of Agricultural and F...
Poster
In recent years, the Mediterranean basin has been invaded by a substantial number of alien wood-boring beetles, which represent some of the most destructive economic pests worldwide. The term wood-boring beetles encompasses many species of xylophagous beetles whose larval or adult stages eat and destroy wood. The most speciose Coleoptera families o...
Conference Paper
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Due to their small size and cryptic habits, alien mealybugs (Insecta: Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) can easily enter countries around the Mediterranean basin through trade in live planting material and fresh produce. The recent increase in mealybug introductions probably reflects ever-faster transport in globalized trade, the free movement of goods wi...
Article
The status of Apis mellifera ruttneri, an endemic honey bee of the Maltese islands, was uncertain after a series of devastating Varroa mite infestations followed by ill-conceived replacement programs. Morphometric analysis, which was the method originally used to identify this honey bee subspecies, was carried out using 33 different parameters. Thi...
Article
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Chiloneus hoffmanni (González, 1970) (Coleoptera Curculionidae) thus far considered a Maltese endemic, is here recorded for the first time from Lampedusa island (Italy). Several adults of this species and of C. solarii Pesarini, 1970 were found feeding on leaves of Charybdis pancration (Asparagaceae). These observations constitute the first data on...
Article
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Chiloneus hoffmanni (González, 1970) (Coleoptera Curculionidae) thus far considered a Maltese endemic, is here recorded for the first time from Lampedusa island (Italy). Several adults of this species and of C. solarii Pesarini, 1970 were found feeding on leaves of Charybdis pancration (Asparagaceae). These observations constitute the first data on...
Article
We provide records of both recently collected and historical material of Cholevinae from Malta and confirm the presence of Ptomaphagus (Ptomaphagus) tenuicornis mauritanicus in Malta which was previously misidentified as P. (P.) sericatus. We also report the presence of a new record, Catops coracinus which should replace the old record of C. morio,...
Article
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A list of 147 species of Chalcidoidea from the Maltese Islands is presented 73 of which are here reported for the first time from this territory. They belong to 15 families as follows: Agaonidae (3); Aphelinidae (20 including 3 new records); Azotidae (1 new record); Chalcididae (3 new records); Encyrtidae (23 including 13 new records); Eulophidae (...
Article
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Fourteen pselaphines are recorded from the Maltese Islands three of which are recorded for the first time: Rybaxis longicornis, Tychus jacquelinii, and T. pici. Tychus pici, a North African species that is so far known only from Algeria and Tunisia, is here recorded for the first time for the European territory. Locality and collecting data that we...
Article
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Xyela cf. altenhoferi Blank, 2013 is recorded from Buskett (Malta). Its host is Pinus halepensis. This is the first species of the sawfly family Xyelidae to be found in the Maltese Islands.
Article
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Three specimens of Stephanopachys quadricollis (Marseul, 1878) were recently found in Malta in UV light traps and represent the first record of this species for this country. Although S. quadricollis is native to the Mediterranean basin, it is not yet clear if these Maltese records are due to a natural population or to an interception. Distribution...
Article
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Monoxia obesula Blake is here recorded for the first time from Malta. This constitutes the second record for the Palaearctic Region, as the species was previously found in Sardinia (Italy) in 2013. In Malta, M. obesula was found on Chenopodium album, which represents a new host-plant record for this beetle.
Article
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Charipinae material has been collected from different localities in Malta. Three species have been identified: Alloxysta citripes, Alloxysta pilipennis and Phaenoglyphis villosa in association with two aphids and one parasitoid species. Diagnosis and information about distribution and hosts of each species is given. Plates with diagnostic features...
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A list of 133 species of heteropteran bugs collected from the Maltese Islands is presented; 21 of them are new records for the Maltese archipelago whereas an additional 15 represent new records for individual islands of this archipelago. The new records are of native origin in the Maltese Islands with the exception of Corythauma ayyari which is an...
Article
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About 2,000 specimens of Psocoptera were collected in Malta recently. Examination of this material revealed 21 new records for the Maltese archipelago, augmenting the known psocid fauna of these islands from 6 to 27 species. One of the most abundant species is Peripsocus stagnivagus Chapman, 1930 (= P. bivari Baz, 1988 = P. leleupi Badonnel, 1976,...
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The Bostrichidae of the Maltese Islands are reviewed. Ten species are recorded with certainty from this Archipelago, of which 6 namely, Trogoxylon impressum (Comolli, 1837), Amphicerus bimaculatus (A.G. Olivier, 1790), Heterobostrychus aequalis (Waterhouse, 1884), Sinoxylon unidentatum (Fabricius, 1801), Xyloperthella picea (A.G. Olivier, 1790) and...
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This paper brings an annotated list of the 16 aphid parasitoids detected up to 2015 in Malta. All the species were reared from identified aphid-plant associations. An illustrated key to the identification of the recorded species from Malta is provided. Taxonomy and peculiarities of the individual taxa are discussed and research outlines are also pr...
Article
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Numerous species of gall midges (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae) have been recorded from saltbush (Chenopodiaceae: Atriplex) around the world but only 11 of them belong to the large cecidomyiid genus Asphondylia. Of these, two species were described in the late 19th century from complex bud galls on Atriplex halimus in the Mediterranean Basin. In the prese...
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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...
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Data
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The morphology of the adult female pittosporum pit scale, Planchonia arabidis, a commonly encountered sap-feeding insect in Europe, is described and illustrated, based on material collected from southern Italy on Pittosporum tobira. Histopatholog-ical observations are made for the first time on the aforementioned host-plant on which typical pit gal...
Article
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Four species of aphid parasitoids, namely Aphidius colemani, Binodoxys angelicae, Lysiphlebus fabarum and Lysiphlebus testaceipes were reared from Aphis nerii on Nerium oleander and/or Stephanotis floribunda in Malta. Aphidius colemani was the most abundant, occurring in different habitat types. Binodoxys angelicae represents a confirmation of a do...
Article
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A specimen of the brown fir longhorn beetle, Callidiellum villosulum villosulum found in Malta represents the first record of this invasive species for Europe. Historical details on world invasion of this species are provided as well as a short description, origin and biology. A brief pest risk analysis of this species is also presented.
Article
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Adialytus ambiguus and Diaeretiella rapae were reared from Rhopalosiphum padi on the Canary grass, Phalaris canariensis in Malta. The identity to species level of the Adialytus required confirmation via DNA analysis of the respective species group. Some ecosystem interrelationships derived from the determined food webs are discussed.
Article
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In 2004 and 2005, pollen characterisation of 35 samples of honey collected from the islands of Malta and Gozo, was carried out with the aim to identify the botanical origin of honey produced on these islands. Pollen was extracted from the honey samples via centrifugation and identified to pollen type, generic level and where possible, specific leve...
Article
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An account is given on the 39 arthropod species which were found on different Ficus trees in the Maltese Islands. Seventeen species represent new records for Malta including Anothopoda fici, Asetadiptacus emiliae, Astichus bachmaieri, Ecphylus caudatus, Empoasca alsiosa, Eupristina verticillata, Ficocyba ficaria, Gynaikothrips ficorum, Josephiella...
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A simplified dichotomous key for the identification of the 61 species of Maltese Tenebrionidae is provided. In order to aid further identification, colour photographs of most species are included and for each species ecological and other relevant notes are provided. Distribution maps of 57 species are presented.
Article
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The Eulophidae (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea) currently accommodates more than 4,000 described species worldwide in some 300 genera (noyES, 2003). In Europe, the family is represented by about 1,100 species (GAuld & Bolton, 1988). Eleven species have previously been recorded from Malta in various scattered publications, but of these only two were repo...
Article
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In the present work, original data is provided for two species of Alleculinae (Tenebrionidae) which were previously omitted from recent works related to this family. The old record of Isomira nitidula is found to be incorrect and should refer to I. melanophthalma. The record of Odocnemis exaratus must be attributed to a different species. Original...
Article
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Information is given about four species of Monotomidae which occur in the Maltese Islands, namely Rhizophagus unicolor, Monotoma bicolor, M. brevicollis and M. spinicollis. A previous record of Rhizophagus bipustulatus was found to be incorrect and should refer to R. unicolor. A dichotomous key for the identification of the four species is also pro...
Article
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In the present work, seven species of Mycetophagidae have been confirmed as occurring in Malta. Of these, two represent new records for this territory namely Berginus tamarisci and Typhaeola maculata. Since very little original collecting data exists for most of the other records for Malta, such data is provided for all species, with notes on globa...
Article
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Ten species of Phalacridae from Malta were found during the present study, of which Olibrus particeps and Tinodemus polygramma represent new records for this territory. Earlier citations of Olibrus bimaculatus and O. liquidus were found to be incorrect and should refer to O. bicolor and O. castaneus respectively. Also the earlier citations of Phala...
Article
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The whiteflies (Hemiptera, Aleyrodidae) of the Maltese Archipelago are reviewed, including two Asian species, Aleuroclava jasmini and Dialeurodes kirkaldyi that are recorded from Malta for the first time. Forty percent of the whitefly species recorded from Malta are of non-European origin. A dichotomous key for the identification of the puparial st...