18160 - Grape Entomology

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Zero hunger Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the students will recognize key arthropod pests in Italian vineyards and their damages. Moreover, students will be able to carry out an integrated and organic pest management of the grape. The students will be able to apply methods and techniques to enhance natural enemies in vineyards, and to sample and identify the main beneficial arthropod species. The students will acquire skills allowing them to apply the most recent techniques for the sustainable management of arthropod pests in the vineyards, with the aim to conserve the key ecosystem services.

Course contents

The student who accesses this course has a good preparation in plant biology and viticultural techniques. Such knowledge and skills are provided by the teachings of the first and second year.

Given that integrated pest management has became compulsory from 2014 in the whole European community. The acquisition of the ability to plan sustainable programs for insect control and management is a priority in the training of a graduate in agricultural disciplines.

Introduction to the Arthropods (0.5 CFU): Differences between Mandibulata and Chelicerata. Arachnids, mites (Acarina) and insects.

General Entomology (1.5 CFU): morphology, head, mouthparts, thorax, legs and wings, abdomen, insect integument, color, muscular system, nervous system and sense organs, digestive system and nutrition, respiratory system, circulatory system, excretory system, endocrine and secretory system, hormones, exocrine glands, reproductive system and reproduction, eggs, fertility, metamorphosis, young and adult stages, sexual dimorphism, aggregation of individuals, insects and the environment (diapause, population dynamics, spread of the species), insects and plants (pollinators, phytophagous insects and related damages), plant resistance, natural enemies: predators (Coleoptera Coccinellidae and Carabidae, Diptera Syrphidae, Neuroptera Chrysopidae, Hemiptera) and parasitoids (Terebrantia and Aculeata), other arthropod predators (phytoseiid mites), pheromones and other semiochemicals.

Identification, distribution, biology, phenology and control strategies of the main grape pests (1.5 CFU): Leafhoppers (Scaphoiudeus titanus, Hyalestes obsoletus, Empoasca vitis, Jacobiasca libica, Zygina rhamni, Metcalfa pruinosa, Stuctocephala bisonia); Aphids (Viteus vitifoliae); Scales (Planococcus ficus, Pseudococcus comstocki, Parthenolecanium corni, Neopulvinaria innumerabilis, Pulvinaria vitis, Targionia vitis); Thrips (Drepanothrips reuteri); Moths (Lobesia botrana, Eupoecilia ambiguella, Argyrotaenia pulchellana, Cryptoblabes gnidiella, Noctua fimbriata, Theresimima amplelophaga), Beetles (Sinoxylon perforans, Sinoxylon sexdentatum, Byctiscus betulae, Otioprrynchus spp.), Gall midges (Janetiella oenophila); Spider mites (Panonychus ulmi, Eotetranychus carpini); Eriophyd mites mites (Calomerus vitis, Calepitrimerus vitis).

Vineyard protection (2.5 CFU): principles of plant protection, Integrated Pest Management, economic thresholds, insect sampling in the vineyard, pheromones (monitoring and mating disruption for Lobesia botrana) and semiochemical (herbivore-induced plant volatiles and their role in vineyard protection), management of Grape phylloxera by resistant plants, biological control in the vineyard (classic, augmentation and conservation biological control programs), microbial control of leptidopteran pests by Bacillus thuringiensis-derived insecticides, mandatory measures for Scaphoiudeus titanus, insecticide classification by Mode of Action (sensu IRAC, Insecticide Resistance Action Committee), side effects of insecticides, resistance management, insecticide selectivity, IPM plans with particular reference to Emilia-Romagna region, from integrated to organic management, vineyard protection in the organic farming.


For the preparation of the course, the teacher will provide the PowerPoint shown and discussed during the lessons.

For further information, the following books are recommended:

- Lucchi A., 2014 Note di entomologia viticola. Pisa University Press.

- Ragusa S., Tsolakis H., 2006 La difesa della vite dagli artropodi dannosi. Università degli studi di Palermo

- Bostanian J. N., Vincent C., Isaacs R., 2012 Arthropod management in vineyards: pests, approaches, and future directions. Springer

Teaching methods

The course consists of theoretical lectures, practical lectures and activities.

Lectures (36 hours) include: theoretical lessons; analysis of integrated pest management plans, with particular reference to the Emilia Romagna region.

Practical lectures and activities (24 hours) include: identification of pests, of the injuries caused to grapes and of beneficial arthropods by means of photographic material; guided visits to vineyards for field identification of insects of the injuries caused to grapes. Also practical demonstration of sustainable protection techniques will be shown.

Assessment methods

The evaluation of the student skills is based on a final oral examination, consisting of 3-4 questions on the syllabus of the course.

Office hours

See the website of Antonio Masetti