iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


The spread of the non-native pine tortoise scale Toumeyella parvicornis (Hemiptera: Coccidae) in Europe: a major threat to Pinus pinea in Southern Italy

Antonio Pietro Garonna (1)   , Alessandro Foscari (1), Elia Russo (2), Giovanni Jesu (1), Silvano Somma (1), Pasquale Cascone (2), Emilio Guerrieri (2-3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 11, Issue 5, Pages 628-634 (2018)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2864-011
Published: Oct 04, 2018 - Copyright © 2018 SISEF

Research Articles

Invasive pests are considered a major threat to biodiversity, conservation and agriculture. The Italian peninsula is a major site of intensive commercial exchange and transport of plants and goods, being consequently one of the European countries most invaded by alien insects. Hemiptera Coccomorpha are the largest group of non-native species recorded in Europe. For example, in the last 70 years more than 50 scale insect species have been accidentally introduced into Italy, 50% of which are now well established. This study was conducted to investigate the biology and the damage of the non-native pine tortoise scale Toumeyella parvicornis Cockerell (Hemiptera: Coccidae) accidentally introduced a few years ago into southern Italy. T. parvicornis is multivoltine in the invaded territories, being able to complete at least three generations per year, overwintering in the adult female stage. Oviposition periods during 2015-2017 surveys occurred from late April to end of May, from July to first half of August, and from mid-September to November. Fecundity was positively correlated to body size of gravid females and varied among the generations. Investigations on natural control by autochthonous species showed a seasonal activity of Metaphycus flavus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), parasitizing mainly immature male individuals. The morpho-molecular approach confirms the hypothesis of an ongoing shift of parasitoid populations from other indigenous soft scales to the invasive one. Unfortunately, the low level of natural control was ineffective in hampering the spread of T. parvicornis, and preventing the dieback of local pine species, Pinus pinea, as observed in all invaded areas.


Invasive Pest, Europe, Toumeyella parvicornis, Life History, Pinus pinea, Natural Control

Authors’ address

Antonio Pietro Garonna
Alessandro Foscari
Giovanni Jesu
Silvano Somma
Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, v. Università 100, I-80055 Portici, Napoli (Italy)
Elia Russo
Pasquale Cascone
Emilio Guerrieri
CNR, Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante (IPSP), v. Università 133, I-80055, Portici (Italy)
Emilio Guerrieri
Department of Life Sciences The Natural History Museum, London (UK)

Corresponding author

Antonio Pietro Garonna


Garonna AP, Foscari A, Russo E, Jesu G, Somma S, Cascone P, Guerrieri E (2018). The spread of the non-native pine tortoise scale Toumeyella parvicornis (Hemiptera: Coccidae) in Europe: a major threat to Pinus pinea in Southern Italy. iForest 11: 628-634. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2864-011

Academic Editor

Massimo Faccoli

Paper history

Received: May 24, 2018
Accepted: Jul 13, 2018

First online: Oct 04, 2018
Publication Date: Oct 31, 2018
Publication Time: 2.77 months

Breakdown by View Type

(Waiting for server response...)

Article Usage

Total Article Views: 38617
(from publication date up to now)

Breakdown by View Type
HTML Page Views: 32395
Abstract Page Views: 2365
PDF Downloads: 3069
Citation/Reference Downloads: 6
XML Downloads: 782

Web Metrics
Days since publication: 2091
Overall contacts: 38617
Avg. contacts per week: 129.28

Article Citations

Article citations are based on data periodically collected from the Clarivate Web of Science web site
(last update: Feb 2023)

Total number of cites (since 2018): 10
Average cites per year: 1.67


Publication Metrics

by Dimensions ©

Articles citing this article

List of the papers citing this article based on CrossRef Cited-by.

Battisti A, Larsson S (2015)
Climate change and insect pest distribution range. In: “Climate change and insect pests” (C. Björkman C, Niemelä P eds). CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp. 1-15.
Online | Gscholar
Camacho ER, Chong JH (2015)
General biology and current management approaches of soft scale pests (Hemiptera, Coccidae). Journal of Integrated Pest Management 6 (1): 1-22.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Camacho ER, Chong JH, Braman SK, Frank SD, Schultz PB (2017)
Life history of Parthenolecanium spp. (Hemiptera, Coccidae) in urban landscapes of the southeastern United States. Journal of Economic Entomology 110 (4): 1668-1675.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Cascone P, Carpenito S, Slotsbo S, Iodice L, Srensen JG, Holmstrup M, Guerrieri E (2015)
Improving the efficiency of Trichogramma achaeae to control Tuta absoluta. BioControl 60: 761-771.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Castro-Guedes CF, Almeida LM (2017)
Environmental impacts of arthropods as biological control agents. Oecologia Australis 21 (3): 268-279.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Clarke SR (2013)
Pine tortoise scale. USDA Forest Service, Forest Insect and Disease Leaflet 57: 1-8.
Cock MJW, Day RK, Hinz HL, Pollard KM, Thomas SE, Williams FE, Witt ABR, Shaw RH (2015)
The impacts of some classical biological control successes. CAB Reviews 10: 042.
Cock MJW, Murphy ST, Kairo MTK, Thomson E, Murphy RJ, Francis AW (2016)
Trends in the classical biological control of insect pests by insects, an update of the BIOCAT database. BioControl 61: 349-363.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Cooper DD, Cranshaw W (2004)
Seasonal biology and associated natural enemies of two Toumeyella spp. in Colorado. Southwestern Entomologist 29 (1): 39-45.
Dale AG, Frank SD (2014)
Urban warming trumps natural enemy regulation of herbivorous pests. Ecological Applications 24 (7): 1596-1607.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Early R, Bradley BA, Dukes JS, Lawler JJ, Olden JD, Blumenthal DM, Gonzalez P, Grosholz ED, Ibanez I, Miller LP, Sorte CJB, Tatem AJ (2016)
Global threats from invasive alien species in the twenty-first century and national response capacities. Nature Communications 7: 12485.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Folmer O, Black M, Hoeh W, Lutz R, Vrijenhoek R (1994)
DNA primers for amplification of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I from diverse metazoan invertebrates. Molecular Marine Biology and Biotechnology 3: 294-299.
García Morales M, Denno BD, Miller DR, Miller GL, Ben Dov Y, Hardy NB (2016)
ScaleNet: a literature-based model of scale insect biology and systematics. On-line Database.
Online | Gscholar
Garonna AP, Scarpato S, Vicinanza F, Espinosa B (2015)
First report of Toumeyella parvicornis (Cockerell) in Europe (Hemiptera, Coccidae). Zootaxa 3949 (1): 142-146.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Green PWC, Hamilton MA, Sanchez MD, Corcoran MR, Manco BN, Malumphy CP (2015)
The scope for using the volatile profiles of Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis as indicators of susceptibility to Pine Tortoise Scale and as predictors of environmental stresses. Chemistry and Biodiversity 12: 652-661.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Green PWC, Hamilton MA, Sanchez MD, Fang R (2017)
Phenotypic plasticity in the emission of terpenes by a threatened pine species (Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis), effects of scale infestation and environment. Forestry 90 (4): 553-560.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Guerrieri E, Noyes JS (2000)
Revision of European species of genus Metaphycus Mercet (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea, Encyrtidae), parasitoids of scale insects (Homoptera, Coccoidea). Systematic Entomology 25 (2): 147-222.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Guerrieri E, Giorgini M, Cascone P, Carpenito S, Van Achterberg C (2016)
Species diversity in the parasitoid genus Asobara (Hymenoptera, Braconidae) from the native area of the fruit fly pest Drosophila suzukii (Diptera, Drosophilidae). PLoS One 11 (2): e0147382.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Hajek AE, Hurley BP, Kenis M, Garnas JR, Bush SJ, Wingfield MJ, Van Lenteren JC, Cock MJW (2016)
Exotic biological control agents, a solution or contribution to arthropod invasions. Biological Invasions 18 (4): 953-969.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Hajibabaei M, Janzen DH, Burns JM, Hallwachs W, Hebert PDN (2006)
DNA barcodes distinguish species of tropical Lepidoptera. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 103: 968-971.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Hebert PDN, Penton EH, Burns JM, Janzen DH, Hallwachs W (2004)
Ten species in one, DNA barcoding reveals cryptic species in the neotropical skipper butterfly Astraptes fulgerator. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 101: 14812-14817.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Inghilesi AF, Mazza G, Cervo R, Gherardi F, Sposimo P, Tricarico E, Zapparoli M (2013)
Alien insects in Italy, comparing patterns from the regional to European level. Journal of Insect Science 13 (73): 1-13.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Kalinkat G, Rall BC (2015)
Effects of climate change on the interactions between insect pests and their natural enemies. In: “Climate change and insect pests” (C. Björkman C, Niemelä P eds). CAB International, Wallingford, UK, pp. 74-90.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Kapranas A, Tena A (2015)
Encyrtid parasitoids of soft scale insects, biology, behaviour, and their use in biological control. Annual Review of Entomology 60: 195-211.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Kenis M, Hurley BP, Hajek AE, Cock MJW (2017)
Classical biological control of insect pests of trees, facts and figures. Biological Invasions 19: 3401-3417.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Kondo T, Pellizzari G (2011)
Description of a new species of Toumeyella Cockerell (Hemiptera, Coccidae) from Mexico, with a taxonomic key to Mexican species. Revista Brasileira de Entomologia 55 (2): 229-233.
CrossRef | Gscholar
MacAloney HJ (1961)
Pine tortoise scale. USDA Forest Service, Bromall, PA, USA, Forest Pest Leaflet 57: 1-7.
Malumphy C, Hamilton MA, Manco BN, Green PWC, Sanchez MD, Corcoran M, Salamanca E (2012)
Toumeyella parvicornis (Hemiptera, Coccidae) causing severe decline of Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Florida Entomologist 95: 113-119.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Malumphy C, Hamilton MA, Sanchez MD, Green PWC (2016)
Trapping confirms aerial recruitment of pine tortoise scale (Toumeyella parvicornis Cockerell) (Hemiptera, Coccidae) in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Entomologist Monthly Magazine 152 (3): 193-200.
Online | Gscholar
Mazzeo G, Longo S, Pellizzari G, Porcelli F, Suma P, Russo A (2014)
Exotic scale insect (Coccoidea) on ornamental plants in Italy, a never-ending story. Acta Zoologica Bulgarica Suppl 6: 55-61.
Meineke EK, Dunn RR, Sexton JO, Frank SD (2013)
Urban warming drives insect pest abundance on street trees. PLoS One 8(3): e59687.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Miller GL, Williams ML (1990)
Tests of male soft scale insects (Homoptera, Coccidae) from America north of Mexico, including a key to the species. Systematic Entomology 15 (3): 339-358.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Myartseva SN, Ruíz-Cancino E, Coronado-Blanco JM, Refugio Lomelí-Flores J, Hernández-De la Cruz RC (2016)
Parasitoids (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea) of Toumeyella scales (Hemiptera, Coccidae) in the New World, with description of a new species from Mexico. Florida Entomologist 99 (4): 781-784.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Noyes JS (1982)
Collecting and preserving chalcid wasps (Hymenoptera, Chalcidoidea). Journal of Natural History 16: 315-334.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Noyes JS (2003)
Universal Chalcidoidea Database . Web site.
Online | Gscholar
Orr DW (1931)
Studies on the natural vs. artificial control of the pine tortoise scale. Minnesota Agricultural Experimental Station Bulletin 79: 1-19.
Pellizzari G, Dalla Montà L, Vacante V (2005)
Alien insect and mite pests introduced to Italy in sixty years (1945-2004). In: “Plant protection and plant health in Europe, introduction and spread of invasive species” (Alford DV, Backhaus GF eds). British crop production council, Alton, UK, pp. 275-276.
Online | Gscholar
Rabkin FB, Le Jeune RR (1954)
Some aspects of the biology and dispersal of the pine tortoise scale (Toumeyella numismaticum Pettit and McDaniel) (Homoptera, Coccidae). The Canadian Entomologist 86: 570-575.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Roques A (2010)
Taxonomy, time and geographic patterns. BioRisk 4: 11-26.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Roques A, Auger-Rozenberg MA, Blackburn TM, Garnas J, Pyšek P, Rabitsch W, Richardson DM, Wingfield MJ, Liebhold AM, Duncan RP (2016)
Temporal and interspecific variation in rates of spread for insect species invading Europe during the last 200 years. Biological Invasions 18: 907-920.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Schulmeister S (2003)
Simultaneous analysis of basal Hymenoptera (Insecta), introducing robust-choice sensitivity analysis. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 79: 245-275.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Segarra-Carmona AE, Cabrera-Asencio I (2010)
Toumeyella parvicornis (Cockerell) (Hemiptera, Coccoidea, Coccidae), a new invasive pest of pine trees in Puerto Rico. Journal of Agriculture University of Puerto Rico 94: 175-177.
Online | Gscholar
Sheffer BJ, Williams ML (1990)
Descriptions, distribution, and host-plant records of eight first instars in the genus Toumeyella (Homoptera, Coccidae). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 92 (1): 44-57.
Online | Gscholar
Simon C, Frati F, Beckenbach A, Crespi B, Liu H, Flook P (1994)
Evolution, weighting, and phylogenetic utility of mitochondrial gene sequences and a compilation of conserved polymerase chain reaction primers. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 87 (6): 651-701.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Stouthamer R, Hu J, Van Kan FJPM, Platner GR, Pinto JD (1999)
The utility of internally transcribed spacer 2 DNA sequences of the nuclear ribosomal gene for distinguishing sibling species of Trichogramma. BioControl 43: 421-440.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Van Driesche RG, Hoddle MS (2016)
Non-target effects of insect biocontrol agents and trends in host specificity since 1985. CABI Reviews 11: 044.
CrossRef | Gscholar
Viggiani G, Guerrieri E (1988)
Le specie italiane del genere Metaphycus Mercet (Hymenoptera Encyrtidae). [The Italian species of the genus Metaphycus Mercet (Hymenoptera Encyrtidae)] Bollettino del Laboratorio di Entomologia Agraria “Filippo Silvestri”, Portici, Naples, Italy, vol. 45, pp. 113-139. [in Italian]
Williams ML, Kondo T (2008)
Status and current composition of the soft scale insect genus Toumeyella (Hemiptera, Coccoidea). In: Proceedings of the “11th International Symposium on Scale Insect Studies” (Branco M, Franco JC, Hodgson C eds). ISA Press, Lisbon, Portugal, pp. 29-32.
Williams M, Kosztarab M (1972)
Morphology and systematics of the Coccidae of Virginia with notes on their biology (Homoptera, Coccoidea). Virginia Polytechnic Institute Research Division Bulletin 74: 1-215.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info