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Analele tiinifice ale Universitii Al. I. Cuza Iai, s.

Biologie animal, Tom LVI, 2010

THE COMPLEX OF ENTOMOPHAGOUS SPECIES LIMITING


THE POPULATIONS OF SOME COLEOPTERANS HARMFUL TO
WOODEN PATRIMONY TREASURES EXPOSED IN NATURE
Bogdan UNGUREAN
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Biology, Bd. Carol I 20A, 700505 Iai, Romania,
bogung109@yahoo.com

Abstract. In the paper we present the trophic relationships that are established among some xylophagous
coleopterans and the complex of entomophagous species, reported in our researches, which acts as a limiting
factor in their development. The researches were accomplished in the period 2007-2009 on patrimony objects
from the ethnographic collection of the Astra Museum in Sibiu, made of wood and exposed in nature, attacked
by xylophagous coleopterans. The analyzed material is part of the research project within the PhD thesis on
conservation of wooden patrimony attacked by xylophagous insects.
Keywords: insects, coleopterans, entomophagous species, patrimony, biodegradation.
Rezumat. Complexul de entomofagi care limiteaz populaiile unor coleoptere duntoare bunurilor de
patrimoniu din lemn expuse in natur. n lucrarea de fa prezentm relaiile trofice care se stabilesc ntre
unele specii de coleoptere xilofage i complexul de entomofagi, semnalat n cercetrile noastre, care acioneaz
ca factor limitativ n dezvoltarea acestora. Cercetrile au fost efectuate n perioada 2007-2009 pe obiecte de
patrimoniu din colecia etnografic a muzeului Astra din Sibiu, confecionate din lemn i expuse n natur,
atacate de coleoptere xilofage. Materialul analizat este parte din proiectul de cercetare ce face obiectul tezei de
doctorat pe tema conservrii bunurilor de patrimoniu din lemn atacate de insecte xilofage.
Cuvinte cheie: insecte, entomofagi, coleoptere, patrimoniu, biodegradare.

Introduction
Patrimony treasures made of wood and exposed outdoors are part of the national
cultural patrimony not only with historical importance, but also artistic and ethnographic.
The cataloguing of an object as good of patrimony, made of wood, involves mostly a
certain age of the respective object, which confers a value in addition, historically and
artistically. Direct consequence of passing through time of the object constituent matter
(wood), is its antiquation, a phenomenon which in general includes the degradation and
implicitly the original matter biodegradation. Thus, the woody matter constitutes the
trophic basis for different samples of bio pests that succeed in different intervals,
correlated with the degree of depreciation of the nutrient substrate.
The wood involved in the patrimony treasures exposed outdoors represents the
ecological niche for different species of xylophagous insects belonging to the order
Coleoptera, which develops attacks placed at intervals whose cumulative effects resulting
in advanced damage to the wooden matter. From the point of view of ecological, certain
relationships appear between the xylophagous insects and decay species of
microorganisms (bacteria and fungi), which determine interdependent phenomena acting
simultaneously on the nutritive substrate. Bacteria and fungi have a role in degradation of
cellulose from the wood, favoring its consumption by the xylophagous insects. Second
types of trophic relationships which emerge are those which can be realized between the
xylophagous coleopterans and the complex of entomophagous species that limit the
populations of the first group mentioned. In our researches we followed the xylophagous
pests reported on the patrimony treasures manufactured of wood and exposed in nature,
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Bogdan Ungurean

having as main stationary points the ethnographic collections of the museums in the open,
Astra in Sibiu and D Gusti in Bucharest. This paper aims at reporting the ecological
correlations between the entomoparasite insects and those xylophagous ones, harmful to
ethnographic museums in open air. The researches to which the present material makes
reference were carried out at the ASTRA Traditional Popular Civilization Museum in
Sibiu.
Materials and Methods
Xylophagous insect collectings were made mainly by two methods: direct
collecting during the hatching period of adults and by the utilization of adhesive traps
without attractants. The parasitoid species were obtained directly from the hosts, which
were collected on yellow sticky traps. The traps were placed on pieces from the museum
which were representing the active attack of the xylophagous coleopterans, the exposure
period of the traps being from spring until late autumn (2007-2009), when it ends the
activity of the last echelon of adults of xylophagous insects of the generation in that
respective year.

d
Figure 1. a, b, c, d. Aspects of the adhesive traps placed in the museum.

Extraction of the individuals from the traps was made by immersion in xylene
solution (the adhesive of the traps being soluble in hydrocarbons from the group of those
aromatic), subsequently being passed through washing successive baths with xylene to
remove the largest possible proportion of glue. Preparation for the exhibition, for the
identification respectively, was made by passing of insects through isobutilic alcohol
baths (intermediate between hydrocarbon and the group of alcohols), and finally ethylic
alcohol - a conservation medium for the collected individuals. The identification of
xylophagous coleopterans was performed by the author on the basis of keys for
identification specific to groups of insects involved in the degradation of the wood
(Musta, 1998, 2001), and the identification of the parasitoid species were made by
specialists on groups within the entomology laboratory of the Zoology Department of the
Faculty of Biology using several identification keys (Achterberg, 1993; Belokobylskij &
Taeger, 2001; Hickin Norman, 1963; Lctuu & Filipescu, 1989; Tobias, 1995, 1996).
The elucidation of the host-parasitoid relationships was realized on the basis of the
information mentioned in the scientific literature catalogues, monographs (Pisic, 2001),
and through individual observations made in nature and in laboratory.
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Analele tiinifice ale Universitii Al. I. Cuza Iai, s. Biologie animal, Tom LVI, 2010

Results and Discussions


The species of xylophagous insects reported belong to five families of the order
Coleoptera: Anobiidae, Cerambycidae, Lyctidae, Curculionidae and Ptinidae. The share,
in which individuals of the different species from the mentioned families are
representated, is different. The representatives of the family Anobiidae are dominant,
constant and euconstant species. In Table 1, the main species of xylophagous insects
reported as pests on the patrimony treasures from the museum in which I conducted
researches.
Table 1. The main insect species reported as pests of the patrimony treasures manufactured of wood
and exposed in nature.
Family
Anobiidae

Cerambycidae
Lyctidae
Curculionidae

Species
Anobium punctatum (De Geer)
Xestobium rufovillosum (De Geer)
Ptilinus pectinicornis (Linnaeus)
Ernobius mollis (Linnaeus)
Hylotrupes bajulus (Linnaeus)
Lyctus linearisi (Goeze)
Rhyncolus (Stereocorynes) truncorum (Germar)

In our researches there were also determined thirteen parasitoid taxa whose
activity is correlated with the species of xylophagous insects among the reported species.
The parasitoid insects belong to four families of the order Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae,
Braconidae, Pteromalidae and Scelionidae. Of these ten are parasitoids of some species
of xylophagous insects, one species is parasite on the eggs of coleopterans and the other
two are hyperparasitoids of the first category mentioned. In Table 2, there are presented
the entomoparasite species collected with the help of traps placed in the stationary.
Table 2. The parasitic entomofauna reported in our researches.

Liotryphon
Ephialtes
Ephialtes
Neoxorides
Deuteroxorides
Mesochorus
Mesochorus

Aspicolpus
Spathius
Hecabolus

Trichomalus
Lariophagus

Trimorus

HYMENOPTERA
ICHNEUMONOIDEA
ICHNEUMONIDAE
PIMPLINAE
crassiseta Thomp.
planifrons
spp.
POEMENIINAE
collaris Grav.
spp.
MESOCHORINAE
facialis Bridgm.
anomalus Holmgr.
BRACONIDAE
HELCONINAE
erythrogaster Tobias
DORYCTINAE
exarator L.
sulcatus Curt.
CHALCIDOIDEA
PTEROMALIDAE
PTEROMALINAE
helvipes Walk.
distinguendus Foerst.
PLATYGASTROIDEA
SCELIONIDAE
spp.

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Bogdan Ungurean

Figure 2. Graphic representation of the trophic relationships among the species harmful to
patrimony treasures and entomophagous species.

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Analele tiinifice ale Universitii Al. I. Cuza Iai, s. Biologie animal, Tom LVI, 2010

Trophic relationships that can be established between the parasitic entomofauna


and xylophagous insects harmful to patrimony treasures are shown in Figure 2.
The species of parasite insects identified have a different proportion of incidence
in relation to xylophagous coleopterans (Fig. 3). It may be evident in this respect the
presence in a greater proportion in comparison with other families of the species from the
family Braconidae, these being those that hold the share of the parasitic trophic
relationships on xylophagous coleopterans.

BRACONIDAE
DORYCTINAE
Spathius exarator
Hecabolus
sulcatus

ICHNEUMONIDAE
PIMPLINAE
POEMENIINAE

PTEROMALIDAE
SCELIONIDAE

Figure 3. Graphical representation of the incidence share of the main families / subfamilies of
entomophagous species in relation to xylophagous insects.

Conclusions
Patrimony treasures made of wood and exposed in nature are attacked in
different stages by a varied number of xylophagous coleopterans.
The attacks of the different groups of insects are placed at intervals according to
nutritive preferences depending on the type of the wooden essence, age and the state of its
degradation.
On the older degraded wood, (subject to the initial action of fungi), is
characteristic the presence in larger proportion of the xylophagous insects of the third
echelon - Anobiidae, Lyctidae (Powder Post Beatles) and others.
The species of dominant, constant and euconstant xylophagous coleopterans are
those belonging to the family Anobiidae (Anobium punctatum De Geer, Xestobium
rufovillosum De Geer, Ptilinus pectinicornis Linnaeus) characterized by a broad
polyphagous trophic spectrum.
The exposure to the outside environment of the attacked patrimony treasures
facilitates the emergence of a complex of parasitoids that acts as a limiting factor in the
development of populations of xylophagous coleopterans.
In our researches we have reported so far a number of thirteen taxa of parasitoids
that are in trophic relationships with species of xylophagous coleopterans present on the
patrimony treasures that belong to four families of the order Hymenoptera:
Ichneumonidae, Braconidae, Pteromalidae and Scelionidae.
Among the taxa mentioned ten are parasitoids of the larvae of xylophagous
insects being reported also cases of hyperparasitoids.
Among the insects of the entomophagous complex reported, the species
belonging to the family Braconidae are those with the highest incidence on the harmful
xylophagous coleopterans identified by us.
Acknowledgements
Many thanks to Prof. Dr. Gheorghe Musta, Prof. Dr. Ionel Andriescu, Prof. Dr.
Constantin Pisic, Lecturer Dr. Ovidiu Popovici, and PhD student Ctlin Ailenei for
identifying the entomophagous species.

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Bogdan Ungurean
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Hickin Norman, E., 1963. The Insect Factor in Wood Decay. Hutchinson of London.
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