Agricultural entomology: Fleosino della Tuja

Agricultural entomology: Fleosino della Tuja

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Classification and host plants

Class: Insects
Order: Beetles
Suborder: Polyphages
Family: Bark beetles
Genus: Phloeosinus
Species: P. thuyae Perris - P. aubei Perris

Bibliographic reference:
Phytopathology, agricultural entomology and applied biology” – M.Ferrari, E.Marcon, A.Menta; School edagricole - RCS Libri spa

Host plants: Cypresses, Thuje, Ginepri, Sequoias and others.

Identification and damage

These are small black-brown beetles of small size (about 2-3 mm long) with a cylindrical body. Above all, they attack plants that are perishable or in a state of physiological and vegetative weakening. The damage is caused by all the mobile stages that dig tunnels inside the woody organs, such as the trunk, the branches and the branches. Adults dig:
- ripening tunnels on the young twigs, in particular at the insertion of these on other branches or at the axil of the shoots;
- proliferation tunnels in the cortical layers, between the peel and the wood, of the stem or large branches.
The larvae dig tunnels under zest, in large woody organs, damaging the conductive tissues and strongly weakening the affected plants.
Outside the woody organs it is easy to see the numerous flickering holes of the adults.

Biological cycle

The Phloeosinus aubei overwinters as an adult, inside the ripening galleries dug at the axils of the shoots or in the young twigs. The Phloeosinus thujae overwinters as a larva, in proliferation tunnels. The adults appear, generally, in April-May, they mate and the females begin to dig the proliferation tunnels, inside the woody organs. The Phloeosinus aubei turns two generations a year, with wintering adults on the twigs, which appear at the end of the summer-autumn. The Phloeosinus thujae performs only one generation per year.

Fleosini: Fleja of tuja - Fleosino of cypress


The fight against these phytophages is chemical although it presents considerable difficulties; in any case, being secondary phytophages, it is good to keep the plants in good vegetative and phytosanitary state, to avoid or limit the attacks of these bark beetles.
The chemical struggle is very difficult, because these are insects that make almost all life inside the plants and therefore are not reachable by insecticides. The only time when it is possible to carry out treatments occurs when adults leave the ripening tunnels to go and dig the proliferation tunnels. This moment occurs in spring and, for the 2nd generation of Phloeosinus aubei, in summer.
It is better to use endotherapeutic products because it is possible to reach, in the small herbaceous shoots, even the interior, where there can be phytophages (Phloeosinus thujae).

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