The association between 11 species of bark beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytinae) and one weevil (Coleoptera: Entiminae) with the pitch canker fungus, Fusarium circinatum Nirenberg and O’Donnell, was determined by crushing beetles on selective medium and histone H3 gene sequencing. Pityophthorus pubescens (Marsham) (25.00%), Hylurgops palliatus (Gyllenhal) (11.96%), Ips sexdentatus (Börner) (8.57%), Hypothenemus eruditus Westwood (7.89%), Hylastes attenuatus Erichson (7.40%), and Orthotomicus erosus (Wollaston) (2.73%) were found to carry the inoculum. In addition, the root weevil Brachyderes incanus L. (14.28%) had the second highest frequency of occurrence of the fungus. The responses of the insects to a range of verbenone doses were tested in field bioassays using funnel traps. Catches of P. pubescens, a species colonizing branch tips of live trees, were significantly reduced in a log-linear dose-dependent relationship. Catches of I. sexdentatus, an opportunistic species normally attacking fresh dead host material, were also gradually reduced with increasing verbenone dose. Catches of Tomicus piniperda L., O. erosus, Dryocoetes autographus (Ratzeburg), H. eruditus, Xyleborus dryographus (Ratzeburg), Hylastes ater (Paykull), Hylurgus ligniperda (F.), H. attenuatus, and B. incanus were not significantly affected by verbenone. The effects of verbenone were consistent with differences in host-age preference. Semiochemical disruption by verbenone in P. pubescens and I. sexdentatus could represent an integrated pest management strategy for the prevention of the spread of pitch canker disease between different stands. However, several species associated with F. circinatum were unaffected by verbenone, not supporting this compound for prevention of the establishment of potential vectors in Northern Spain.
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