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The nut weevil (Curculio nucum): the primary pest in hazelnut cultivation. What do we know about its biology and control?

Fernando Garcia del Pino
Department of Animal Biology, Plant Biology and Ecology
Faculty of Biosciences. Autonomous University of Barcelona

The nut weevil (Curculio nucum. L., Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is the most significant pest in hazelnut cultivation. It can cause hazelnut production losses of up to 80% in crops where no control strategies are implemented. In the Mediterranean region, adults emerge from the soil in early spring. The females lay eggs inside hazelnuts from June to July. The larvae feed inside the nut and in early August, when larval development is completed, they leave the hazelnut and burrow into the ground where they overwinter. The nut weevil typically has a life cycle of two years, including an overwintering larval stage in the first year and an overwintering adult stage in the second year. The following spring, the adult emerges from the soil to reproduce. Although the life cycle of this insect was described many years ago (Nonell, 1921), there are several poorly known aspects that still need to be clarified to establish a control strategy.
Current control of the hazelnut weevil is based on chemical insecticides. Due to the hidden habitat of larvae inside hazelnuts, chemical control can control only the adults that emerge from the soil and are located in the crop, resulting in limited effectiveness. Because of this difficulty in combating the insect with chemical insecticides, alternative methods must be sought, including natural enemies.
This presentation will review the biology of this insect, based on scientific studies that are currently underway, and examine the role that biological control agents such as fungi and insect-pathogenic nematodes can play in controlling this major pest of hazelnut crops.

References:
Nonell i Comas, J. 1921. El Diabló de l’Avellaner.  Archives of the Higher School of Agriculture (Escola Superior d'Agricultura) Fascicle II, 1-19.

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In accordance with the Organic Law on the Protection of Personal Data 15/1999, of 13 December, Promotora de Exportaciones Catalanas SA (hereinafter PRODECA), whose address is Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 620, principal, 08007 Barcelona, with tax reg. no. NIF A58241316, declares that the images contained on the website www.smartfruitcongress.cat are included in a file belonging to PRODECA. The purpose of this file is the promotion, via its website, of the activities conducted by PRODECA – SmartfFruit IPM International Congress.

PRODECA guarantees that you may, at any time, exercise your right to access, rectify, cancel or oppose by writing to the aforesaid postal address, using the reference "PROTECCIÓN DE DATOS - SMARTFRUIT", or to the email address smartfruitcongress@smartfruitcongress.cat.

Specifically, to correctly exercise these rights you must clearly provide the following items in that communication:
- Name, surname(s) and photocopy of National Identity Document or Passport.
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PRODECA also declares that it reserves the right to delete from its website any content that it considers violates current and applicable legislation.

D’acord amb l’article 17.1 de la Llei 19/2014, la ©Generalitat de Catalunya permet la reutilització dels continguts i de les dades sempre que se'n citi la font i la data d'actualització i que no es desnaturalitzi la informació (article 8 de la Llei 37/2007) i també que no es contradigui amb una llicència específica.