Applied agricultural entomology and parasitology 1

Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: ANTONIO BIONDI

Expected Learning Outcomes

1) Knowledge and understanding: The course aims to provide the student with basic knowledge on morphology, biology and physiology of insects and other harmful animal organisms, with specific reference to the systematic groups of pre-eminent applied interest, for which the student will also have to develop basic skills in the assessment of the harmfulness to cultivated plants and their products and in the application of environmentally friendly means of control of their infestations.

2) Ability to apply knowledge and understanding: Through the acquisition of knowledge about the biology of insects and parasites and their interactions with plants and their products, students will acquire the ability to be able to recognize the damage caused by them to plants and their products, as well as to plan possible actions to control the populations of harmful organisms.

3) Judgement skills: With the aid of lectures, laboratory exercises, farm visits and seminars, students will acquire autonomy in the recognition and analysis of insect infestations in the agricultural field.

4) Communication skills: The students will develop a correct technical-scientific terminology in the field of entomology and applied parasitology as well as the ability to work and communicate in a group, also by simulating interactions in the working environment.

5) Learning skills: The course will contribute to the development of skills and autonomy of analysis useful for the development of skills in the sustainable protection of cultivated plants and their products.

Course Structure

The course will be delivered by 28 hours of lectures and 28 hours of class, laboratory group activities, bibliographic searches, seminars and, if feasible, technical field visits.

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.

As a guarantee of equal opportunities and in compliance with current laws, interested students can ask for a personal interview in order to plan any compensatory and/or dispensatory measures, based on their specific needs and on teaching objectives of the discipline.

It is also possible to ask the departmental contacts of CInAP (Center for Active and Participatory Integration - Services for Disabilities and/or DSAs) of the department of Agriculture, Food and Environment (

Required Prerequisites

General knowledge on the zoological taxonomy and on insect morphology, physiology and biology of insects are very important.

Attendance of Lessons

Not compulsory but strongly recommended as it facilitates the student's learning path and assessment of merit.

However, intermediate tests can only be taken by those students who attend at least 70% of the classes.

Detailed Course Content

1. Mites

1.1 General aspects

Morphology and anatomy; Reproduction and development; Systematics; Relations with plants; Damage and economic importance; Sampling methods; Control.

1.2 Biology, population dynamics and damage caused by main group of mites noxious in agriculture and related control methods.

Eriofids (Colomerus vitis, Eriophyes sheldoni, Calepitremus vitis, Aculops lycopersici, Aculops pelekassi),

Tetranichids (Panonychus citri, Panonychus ulmi, Eotetranychus carpini, Tetranychus urticae),

Tarsonemids (Polyphagotarsonemus latus),

Tenuipalpids (Brevipalpus spp.).


2. Nematodes

2.1 General aspects

Morphology and anatomy; Reproduction and development; Systematics; Relations with plants; Damage and economic importance; Sampling methods; Control.


2.2 Biology, population dynamics and damage by maing group of nematodes noxious in agriculture and related control methods.

Ord. Tylenchida: Anguinidae (Ditylenchus dipsaci, Anguina tritici), Pratylenchidae (Pratylenchus spp.), Heteroderidae (Globodera rostochiensis, Globodera pallida, Heterodera schachtii, Heterodera carotae, Meloidogyne spp.), Tylenchulidae (Tylenchulus semipenetrans),

Ord. Dorylaimida: Longidoridae (Xiphinema spp.), Trichodoridae (Trichodorus spp.).


3. Other animal pests

3.1 General aspects

Mollusca Gasteropoda, Birds, Rodents: Systematics and morphology; Main biological aspects; Damage and economic importance; Control.

4.2 Biology, epidemiology and damage by maing group of gasteropoda, birds and rodents noxious in agriculture and related control methods.

Mollusca Gasteropoda: Helicidae, Limacidae.

Birds: Sturnidae, Ploceidae, Corvidae, Columbidae.

Rodents: Cricetidae, Muridae.


4. Insects

4.1 General aspects

Morphology and anatomy; Reproduction and development; Systematics; Relations with plants; Damage and economic importance; Sampling methods; Control.


4.2 Biology, population dynamics and damage by maing group of insects noxious in agriculture and related control methods.

Ord. CollembolaIsotomurus palustris, Sminthurus viridis.

Ord. BlattodeaBlatta orientalis, Periplaneta americana, Blattella germanica, Supella longipalpa.

Ord. Isoptera: Kalotermes flavicollis, Reticulitermes lucifugus.

Ord. Orthoptera: Ensiferi Tettigoniidi (Decticus albifrons) e Grillotalpidi (Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa), Celiferi Acrididi (Calliptamus italicus, Dociostaurus maroccanus).

Ord. Thysanoptera: Terebranti Tripidi (Heliothrips haemorrhoidalis, Frankliniella occidentalis, Pezothrips kellianus);Tubuliferi Fleotripidi (Liothrips oleae).

Ord. Hemiptera:

Eterotteri Coreidi (Gonocerus acuteangulatus), Pentatomidi (Nezara viridula, Halyomorpha halys), Miridi (Calocoris trivialisNesidiocoris tenuis);

Omotteri Auchenorrinchi Flatidi (Metcalfa pruinosa), Cercopidi (Philaenus spumarius) e Cicadellidi (Empoasca decedens, Empoasca vitis);

Omotteri Sternorrinchi Psilloidei (Cacopsylla pyri), Aleirodoidei (Aleurothrixus floccosus, Bemisia tabaci, Trialeurodes vaporariorum), Afidoidei (Viteus vitifoliae, Eriosoma lanigerum, Toxoptera aurantii, Aphis spiraecola, Aphis fabae, Aphis gossypii, Dysaphis plantaginea, Brachycaudus persicae, Myzus persicae) e Coccoidei (Icerya purchasi, Planococcus citri, Saissetia oleae, Ceroplastes rusci, Pseudaulacaspis pentagona, Aspidiotus nerii, Diaspidiotus perniciosus, Aonidiella aurantii).

Ord. Lepidoptera: Gracillariidi (Leucoptera malifoliella, Phyllocnistis citrella), Iponomeutidi (Prays oleae, Prays citri), Gelechiidi (Phthorimaea operculella, Anarsia lineatella, Tuta absoluta), Tortricidi (Cydia pomonella, Cydia molesta, Lobesia botrana), Nottuidi (Agrotis ipsilon, Spodoptera littoralis), Taumetopeidi (Thaumetopoea pityocampa), Piralidi (Ephestia kühniella, Plodia interpunctella, Ostrinia nubilalis), Cossidi (Cossus cossus, Zeuzera pyrina).

Ord. Diptera: Nematoceri Culicidi e Cecidomiidi (Mayetiola destructor); Brachiceri Drosophilidae (Drosophila suzukii), Tefritidi (Bactrocera oleae, Ceratitis capitata, Rhagoletis cerasi) e Agromizidi (Liriomyza trifolii).

Ord. Coleoptera: Adefagi Carabidi (Zabrus tenebrioides); Polifagi Scarabeidi (Melolontha melolonta, Tropinota hirta), Elateridi (Agriotes litigiosus), Buprestidi (Capnodis tenebrionis), Crisomelidi (Leptinotarsa decemlineata), Bruchidi (Bruchus spp., Acanthoscelides obtectus), Curculionidi (Otiorrhynchus cribricollis, Anthonomus spp., Sitophilus spp.) e Scolitidi (Phloeotribus scarabaeoides).

Ord. Hymenoptera: Sinfiti Tentredinidi (Hoplocampa brevis); Apocriti Formicidi (Linepitema humile) e Vespidi (Vespa crabro, Vespula germanica).

Textbook Information

1. BACCETTI B., BARBAGALLO S., SÜSS L. & TREMBLAY E., 2000. Manuale di Zoologia Agraria. Delfino Editore, Roma.

2. TREMBLAY E., 1985-2000. Entomologia applicata, voll. 1-7. Liguori Editore, Napoli.

3. MASUTTI L., ZANGHERI S., 2001, Entomologia Generale e Applicata, Cedam, Padova.

4. ALFORD D V (2013) Pests of Fruit Crops: A Colour Handbook. CRC Press

All the slides used during lectures, as well as any additional document will be provided by the teacher through the "Studium" web system.

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
11.Mites1 and slides
22. Nematodes1 and slides
33. Other animal pests1 and slides
44. Insects2, 3, 4 and slides

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Two written intermediate evaluations and a possible final oral interview. In particular, only those students who have attended at least 70% of the lectures will be able to undergo the two written intermediate evaluations: the first will take place approximately halfway through the course, while the second will take place at its conclusion and on a date prior to the first exam call.

The two tests will consist of multiple-choice (7 questions) and open-ended (3 questions) questions on the topics of the first (1, 2 and 3) or second (4) part of the syllabus. The intermediate tests will last 2 hours each.


- who have passed both intermediate tests will be able to register a passing grade in the profitability examination from the first useful exam call and in any case within the academic year in which the tests were taken;

- who have passed or taken only one of the in intermediate tests will have to take the oral examination (within the academic year in which the in intermediate tests were taken) concerning the part of the syllabus for which they did not pass or did not take the test;

- who have failed or undergone both of the in intermediate tests will have to take the oral examination covering the whole syllabus at any available exam call;

- who have passed one or both of the tests may still take the oral examination in an attempt to improve the grade obtained at any useful exam call.

The learning assessment may also be conducted electronically, should conditions require it, in which case all the tests (including the in exam call tests) will be conducted orally.

For all tests (intermediate or final; written or oral) the assessment will be based on five criteria

relevance of the answers to the questions asked: quality of content, ability to link with other topics covered in the syllabus, ability to give examples, property of technical language and overall expressive ability. The mark awarded will be as follows

Not suitable

Knowledge and understanding of subject matter: Significant deficiencies. Significant inaccuracies.

Ability to analyse and summarise: Irrelevant. Frequent generalisations. Inability to synthesize.

Use of references: Completely inappropriate.


Subject knowledge and understanding: At threshold level. Obvious imperfections.

Ability to analyse and synthesize: Barely sufficient.

Use of references: Barely appropriate.


Knowledge and understanding of the subject: Routine knowledge.

Ability to analyse and synthesize: Correct analysis and synthesis, with logical and coherent argumentation skills.

Use of references: Use of standard references.


Knowledge and understanding of the subject: Good.

Ability to analyse and synthesize: Good, with arguments expressed coherently.

Use of references: Use of standard references.


Knowledge and understanding of the subject: More than good.

Capacity for analysis and synthesis: Remarkable.

Use of references: Thorough.


Knowledge and understanding of the subject: Very good.

Ability to analyse and synthesize: Remarkable.

Use of references: Considerable in-depth.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

Generalities on Eriophid mites and news on the main species of agricultural interest

Morphology, bio-ecology, epidemiology, damage and control of Tetranychus urticae

Types of mouthparts and damage of nematodes

Main information on the main species of Nematodes Meloidogyne spp.

Methods of control of Gastropod Molluscs in agriculture

Birds and agriculture: generalities, damage, economic importance, main species and control methods

Main information on the morphology, biology and damage caused by the main insects in the family Bruchidae

Describe the key information on the morphology, biology, damage and control of Toxoptera aurantii