Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: Agatino RUSSO

Expected Learning Outcomes

1) Knowledge and understanding

The course aims to provide notions on plant pests of ornamental, forestry, and urban interest, with reference to insects, nematodes, mites, and rodents, and on rational strategies for containing their infestations. At the end of the course, students will acquire basic knowledge to distinguish the main animal organisms infesting plants, to evaluate their phytosanitary importance and define eco-sustainable control strategies of their infestations.


2) Applying knowledge and understanding

By acquiring the basic knowledge on the biology of the main insect and animal parasites and the methodologies and control strategies, students will acquire the basics to recognize the main plant pests and eco-sustainable control methods.


3) Express judgments

Through lectures, laboratory exercises, field visits and seminars, students will acquire analytical skills to evaluate the infestations of plant animal parasites, developing autonomy of judgment for the choice of the most effective and sustainable control measures.


4) Communication skills

Through the study of scientific articles and participation in lectures, laboratory exercises, field visits, seminars and above all with the interaction with the teacher and other students during all the didactic activities, students will develop a correct use of technical-scientific terminology in the field of plant entomology and parasitology, as well as the ability to process contents and interact in groups.


5) Learning skills

The course will contribute to the development of analysis skills useful in carrying out study activities, aimed at finding sources of scientific information and the preparation of the final exam paper, also preparing students for the continuation of higher-level university studies.

Course Structure

The didactic objectives will be achieved through lectures (4CFU=28 hours), conducted with the aid of computer-based teaching schemes and also laboratory trainings and technical visits will be carried out (2 CFU = 28 hours). Laboratory activities focuses on topics covered in theoretical lessons and on analysis of case studies. Technical field visits have multidisciplinary interest and aim to foster students learning and to improve their practical skills.

If teaching is given in a mixed or on-line mode, necessary changes may be introduced to what was previously stated in order to comply with the current syllabus.

Learning assessment may also be carried out on line, should the conditions require it.

Information for students with disabilities and / or Specific Learning Disorders (SLD)

To guarantee equal opportunities and in compliance with the laws in force, interested students can ask for a personal interview to plan compensatory and / or relief measures, based on the didactic objectives and specific needs. It is also possible to contact the CInAP Disability Advisory Centre of our Department advisors.

Attendance of Lessons

Attendance is not compulsory to hold exams, but it is strongly recommended to attend at least the 70% of the didactic activities.

Detailed Course Content

Morphology, anatomy and physiology of insects: general characteristics of insects and their applied interest; morphology of head, thorax, abdomen, and their appendages; anatomy and physiology: exoskeleton system; nervous system; sensory system; digestive system; respiratory system; circulatory system; excretory system; secretory system; reproductive system; post-embryonic development; physiology of metamorphosis.

Biological behaviour and relationships with the environment (insect ecology): specific and group events: dimorphism and polymorphism; aggregation and society; life cycles; biotic potential and environment; population dynamics; biological balances; spread of the species.

Harmfulness of insects: direct and indirect damage; transmission of pathogens; control thresholds.

Control methods of insect pests: agronomic practices; habitat management; physical and mechanical methods; biological control: entomophagous arthropods and entomopathogenic species, biological control methods, microbial and genetic control; chemical control: insecticides and their modes of action; commercial formulations and active ingredients; side effects of pesticide applications; principles of integrated pest management.

Main groups of insect pests: systematics, identification and biology of the main orders and families (IsopteraOrthopteraThysanopteraRhynchota Heteroptera and Homoptera: leafhoppers, whiteflies, psyllids, aphids and scales; Lepidoptera: leafminers, leafroller moths, armyworms, lymantriidae moths, cossid millers, pierid butterflies; Coleoptera: scarab beetles, longhorn beetles, leaf-beetles, weevils, bark beetles; Diptera: leaf-miner flies; Hymenotera: sawflies); damage and phytosanitary importance; control strategies

Elements of plant parasitology; systematics, biology and recognition; damage and phytosanitary importance; control methods of the main groups of Mites: white mites, spider mites, gall mites; Nematodes: anguinidae, pratilenchidae, heteroderidae, longidoridae and xiphinematidae; Mammals: insectivores (moles), lagomorphs (hares, rabbits) and rodents (mice, voles).

Textbook Information

  1. TREMBLAY E., 2016. Entomologia applicata, vol. 1 Liguori Editore, Napoli; [ISBN 978-8820706814]
  2. BACCETTI B., BARBAGALLO S., SÜSS L., TREMBLAY E., 2000. Manuale di Zoologia Agraria. Delfino Editore, Roma [ISBN 88-728722227].
  3. FERRARI M., MARCON E., MENTA A., MONTERMINI A. 2003. Malattie e parassiti delle piante da fiore, ornamentali e forestali, 2 volumi. Edagricole Ed. [ISBN 978-88-506-4550-3].

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

The learning assessment is arranged in a first written test and a final oral interview. The written test is an open-ended test of 3 hours duration and is aimed to assess the learning level gained by the students.

The final exam consists of an individual interview and involves the verification of the specific knowledge and skills acquired overall. For both the tests, the evaluation will be out of thirty and will be based on the relevance of the answers, the quality of the content, the ability to connect different topics and provide practice examples; in addition, the expression property used will be considered. The final score of the course will result from the average scores of the two tests.

Learning assessment may also be carried out online, should the conditions require it.


The assessment of the preparation will take place based on the following criteria: learning ability and level of deepening, properties of synthesis and presentation, logic skills. The marks will be assigned following the scheme below:



Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Important shortcomings. Significant inaccuracies.

Analysis and synthesis skills: Irrelevant. Frequent generalizations. Inability to synthesize.

Use of references: Completely inappropriate.



Knowledge and understanding of the topic: At the threshold level. Obvious imperfections.

Analysis and synthesis skills: Just enough skills.

Use of references: As appropriate.



Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Routine knowledge.

Analysis and synthesis skills: Correct analysis and synthesis, with logical and coherent argumentation skills.

Use of references: Use of standard references.



Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Good.

Analysis and synthesis skills: Good, with arguments expressed consistently.

Use of references: Use of standard references.



Knowledge and understanding of the topic: More than good.

Analysis and synthesis skills: Remarkable.

Use of references: In-depth.


30-30 and praise

Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Excellent.

Analysis and synthesis skills: Remarkable.

Use of references: Important insights.