First report of Eurytoma plotnikovi in Sicilia, Italy
In spring 2011, pistachio nuts (Pistacia vera) infested by larvae of an unidentified wasp were collected from several orchards located in central-western Sicilia, Italy. Larvae were reared in the laboratory and emerging adults were identified as Eurytoma plotnikovi (Hymenoptera: Eurytomidae). E. plotnikovi originates from China where it is reported to develop in nuts of Pistacia chinensis (an ornamental species with non-edible nuts). This seed wasp has also been recorded outside China in Greece, Iran, Israel, Kyrgyzstan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, and Turkey. In the pistachio orchards studied in Sicilia, E. plotnikovi was found in mixed populations with another seed wasp, Megastigmus pistaciae, a native species. Damage caused by E. plotnikovi has been noticed by growers since 2009 but was confused with that caused by M. pistaciae. The authors noted that considering the importance of the pistachio industry in eastern Sicilia (where E. plotnikovi has not been found), it was desirable to prevent its further spread across the island.
Longo S, Suma P (2011) First report of Eurytoma plotnikovi Nik. (Hymenoptera, Eurytomidae), a seed parasite of pistachio, in Sicily (Italy). Journal of Entomological and Acarological Research, Serie II 43(3), 333-336.