Beetle to beetle, we help save the cork oak forest

In 2018, about 2.000 traps equipped with aggregation pheromone were installed to catch Platypus cylindrus insect pest on properties in Coruche and Mora municipalities.

The intervened areas are located in regions better suited for forest, where cork oak stands are predominate. In all, the presence of the insect-plague was detected, with different attack intensity degrees.
Trap monitoring (monthly collection of insects in geo-referenced traps, Platypus cylindrus identification and individuals counting) has allowed us to conclude about the spatial distribution of the insect in the study properties: heterogeneous and dispersed, with some foci of attack.
In May, June and July 2018 were collected about 28.000 ambrosia beetles.

During the year 2017, more than 65.000 individuals were counted in about 350 traps. These collections were carried out in 4 of the 8 properties currently monitored.

Preliminary results point to the reduction of catches between 2017 and 2018, and it is estimated that the biological control using the trap-pheromone binomial may have a negative influence on the population of ambrosia beetles, helping to mitigate it in affected forest stands.

Fig. 1: cork oak marked for cut with Platypus cylindrus  attack symptoms (circular holes and sawdust)

Fig. 2: cork oak with high defoliation index, result of Platypus cylindrus and other pest insects action 

Fig. 3: Platypus cylindrus trap equipped with specific aggregation pheromone Fig.4: general perspective of Platypus cylindrus captured in May, June and July of 2018

Beetle to beetle, we help save the cork oak forest