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      The stone pine, Pinus pinea L., a new highly rewarding host for the invasive Leptoglossus occidentalis

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      NeoBiota

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          The invasive seed bug Leptoglossusoccidentalis, a species native to Western North America, is of major concern for the producers of stone pine seeds in the Mediterranean countries. The large size of these edible seeds and their nutritive content may represent a pull factor for the seed bug. Cone and seed traits of three main Mediterranean pine species: P.pinea, P.pinaster, and P.halepensis, were evaluated. Preference trials with cone-bearing branches, individual cones and seeds were conducted to test host preference among the three host species.

          Considering the kernel size, stone pine seeds provide 4 to 13 times more reward than P.pinasterand P.halepensisseeds, respectively, but also needed a greater effort to be reached as measured by coat thickness. Still, the benefit/cost ratio was higher on P.pinea. Individual seeds and cones of P.pineawere 2 to 3 times more consumed than those of the two other pine species. However, branch preference trials did not reveal any difference in bug visits. Moreover, adults manifested strong group behaviour on branches, frequently dissociating into two persisting groups. The implications of these results for P.pineaproducing areas are discussed.

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          Most cited references 34

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          The Inadequate Environment

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            INSECT HERBIVORES: DIFFERENT REASONS FOR BEING A GENERALIST

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              Increased moth herbivory associated with environmental stress of pinyon pine at local and regional levels

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NeoBiota
                NB
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2488
                1619-0033
                December 21 2018
                December 21 2018
                : 41
                : 1-18
                Article
                10.3897/neobiota.41.30041
                © 2018

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