X-ray based computed tomography, a non-invasive approach in order to assess the damage caused by Lamprodila festiva of hidden lifestyle
The cypress jewel beetle Lamprodila (Palmar) festiva is a wood-boring pest posing a major threat to the phytosanitary conditions of several coniferous trees. Its unprecedented European expansion has triggered serious plant protection concerns in several new habitats. Parts of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana injured by L. festiva were collected and analysed by computed tomography in order to study the dimensions of the cavities caused by L. festiva larvae as well as the larval positions. It is concluded that computer tomography representing a non-invasive approach is a promising tool for the visual depiction of the position and the physical parameters of the cavities formed. According to our experimental data, the penetration into the cypress caused by larvae and, inherently, its depth depends on the diameter of the branch. Additionally, the developing larvae appeared to keep distance from each other, which also depended on the diameter of the attacked branch. Our approach provides new data to the biological traits of the species. The main benefit that our imaging method furnishes is the exact, stress-free measurement method of the hidden developing stages. Its additional advantage is the indirect pest identification, which is based on the predetermined pest-specific damage characters.
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