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First report on Virachola livia Klug. (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) and its effects on different pomegranate varieties in Tunisia



Virachola livia Klug 1834 (Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae) was detected for the first time in a cultivated pomegranate orchard in Tunisia in 2006 although it may have been causing damage for several years prior to this. During 2006, 5.2% of the total pomegranate fruit produced in Tunisia was infested by this pest. This invasive species was responsible for 52% of fruit rot at Zerkine locality (Gabès Governorate). Levels of V. livia infection were shown to vary among nine pomegranate varieties; the Klaii, Mezzi and Garoussi varieties were the most susceptible, whereas Gabsi, Jbeli, Andolsi, Tounsi, Zaghweni and Zehri were more tolerant to this lycaenidae. The authors consider that this is due to female preference.