Flat-headed Rootborer

The flat-headed root borer (Capnodis tenebrionis) can be found on fruit trees, especially in apricot, cherry, plum, almond and cherry plantations, in early summer. Larvae hatch from the eggs and bore into the roots. Once in the roots, they make their way to the stem.

adults on cherry tree2

Capnodis tenebrionis
Adults on cherry tree.

adults emerge in april

Capnodis tenebrionis
Adults emerge in April. From June to august females lay hundreds of eggs below the tree canopy.

capnodis tenebrionis larvae

Capnodis tenebrionis larvae
Tunnel the roots and tree trunks between wood and bark.

holes in bark caused capnodis

Holes in the bark caused by Capnodis tenebrionis larvae


Biocontrol of the Flat-headed Rootborer (Capnodis tenebrionis) with the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema carpocapsae (nemastar®)

nemastar® is used against larvae, pupae and adults of the Flat-headed Rootborer Capnodis tenebrionis (Buprestidae: Coleoptera) in stone fruit (cherry, apricot, peach, nectarine, plum, almond). The pest insect attacks roots and the stem. The life cycle lasts 13 months. Adult females oviposit from June to August in the soil around the tree. Larvae tunnel the roots toward the stem during autumn and winter and migrate approximately 50 cm up the stem. In August new adults emerge and feed on leaves. Adults overwinter in the soil and emerge in April for another cycle of oviposition.

lifecycle capnodis tenebrionis

Lifecycle Capnodis tenebrionis

Mode of action
nemastar® is based on the entomopathogenic nematode Steinernema carpocapsae.Infective dauer juveniles of the nematode actively search for host insects in galleries, the soil or the stem. Two days after invasion the insects die. The nematodes propagate inside the insect cadaver. After two weeks, 1,000 infective nematode juveniles of the next generation emerge and hunt for the surviving larvae.

nemastar® is effective against all stages except eggs. It is applied through the drip irrigation, by drench or soil injection in March-May and/or September/October, when soil humidity is high and temperature of > 14 °C. If soil is dry, irrigation before and after application is necessary. The dose rate is 1-3 million nematodes per tree, applied in at least 30 liters of water per tree. To sanitize orchards, three consecutive applications are necessary. To prevent re-infestation, one spray per season in autumn is usually enough.

nemastar® has already been successfully used on many thousands hectares in Mediterranean countries. In field trials in apricot the efficacy ranged from 75-90%, independent from the application method. (drench, drip or injection).

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