Carob trees have been dying as a result of a beetle which has been found in Manikata, Armier and Fontana, among other localities, the Plant Health Directorate said this evening.
It said it had received various reports of carob trees dying in a very short time. The symptoms are drying leaves sometimes even to the point where the tree sheds all its leaves. Resin and round exit holes from where the beetle exits were sometimes also observed.
This beetle, Apate monachus (Fabricius 1775) originated in tropical Africa, moving North to the Mediterranean including France and Spain.
The black borer (BB) Apate monachus is a bostrichid beetle harmful to ornamental and fruit trees and other woody plants. ?e species has long been known for attacks on grapevine, peach, apple, pear, avocado, ornamental and fruit trees and, recently, it was reported to damage lemon plants. Apate monachus is widespread in large parts of southern tropical areas; in addition, in Tunisia, it is also known to be harmful to palms. In areas where A. monachus occurs in West Africa, it causes problems in forest manage-ment and in wood-processing factories in addition, in Tanzania it is a pest of coffee crops.
The attacks of adult Apate monachus (Fabricius) on pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) and carob (Ceratonia siliqua L.) trees in a plant nursery in southern Italy was described in June 2010.
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