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Field trip to Sicily (June 07-13, 2020)
by  F. Di Cristina and M. Cristofaro

First travel of the year after the first global lockdown due to the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic. Aim of this trip was to look for insects on populations of Mesesmbryanthemum sp., Tamarix sp., Salsola kali and other plants involved in BBCA's projects.
In the area of Trapani (Marausa) we found Corimalia sp., Coniatus sp. and Trabutina sp. on Tamarix. Nearby the town of Paceco we recorded the presence of several plants of Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum and collected some moth larva found on them to try to get the adults for morphological  identification. Near the town of Siculiana we found a big population of Carpobrotus edulis and also a huge population of Coniatus sp. on Tamarix. In the Tamarix sites in Marzamemi we recorded a lot of Corimalia sp., but very few Coniatus and almost no-scale insects (suspected treatement with insecticides).


Field trip to Sicily (July 08-15, 2020)
by M. cristofaro, R. Sforza and G. Martel

This trip is dedicated to an ispection in Pantelleria island to record damages on cappers plants (Bagrada project) and collect prospective control agents. Recorded an important damage by the flower midge Asphondylia gennadii: collected several galled flowers looking for some eventual parasitoid emergence. Found a good population of Carpobrotus edulis. Recorded the presence of several plants of Mesembryanthemum nodiflorum. Meeting at the University of Palermo with Prof. S. Colazza and S. Guarino to discuss the possibility to develop joint projects on Bagrada biological control and on capper’s pests.


Field trip to Greece (July 22– 25, 2020)
by  M. Cristofaro and F. Di Cristina

Collected samples of cheatgrass seeds at the last year site between Kastraki and Kalambaka. Recorded the presence of medusa-head (few plants) at the site. Around the Meteora monasteries collected cheatgrass seed sample, plants of medusa-head, Scotch thistle and YST. On a dry river bed near the town of  Mourgkani recorded and collected cheatgrass, plus some Corimalia and 1 small Coniatus on Tamarix. Near the small town of Vravrona: very good collection site for Coniatus (collected 200); at the same site, found a good population of Carpobrotus.


Field trip to Kenya (October 03-10, 2020)
by M. cristofaro and F.  Cristina

First (and last) travel outside Europe in this difficult year due to Covid pandemic. As usual, our base camp was the Mpala Research Centre. The season was very dry and, since the beginning, along the road from Nairobi to Mpala it was difficult to detect the presence of our target species. At the Mpala Research Centre also, most of Guinea grass plants were with dry leaves. For this reason, we focussed our attention to shady areas, where it was possible to find -occasionally- young Guinea grass (Megathyrsus maximum
individuals generally green and at different phenological stages. The strategy was to collect a sample of 20-30 plants with green leaves, bring them back and inspect the material under the stereomicroscope. At the end, we were able to find a good mite population only in 2 sites, mainly with the small Guinea grass type. We found the mites only in the first day of our field trip: after 5 days of drought, we found that the quality of the plants in the field (and -consequently- the infestation rate) was significantly reduced. But we were able to find additional new organisms associated to our target weed, particularly an undetermined seed feeder moth larva that must be considered for further studies.  

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