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The scale insect fauna of Romania is poorly known. Based on bibliographic sources and on collections made by the authors a complete checklist is presented. The number of scale insect species presented here from Romania is the following: 178 from outdoor and 29 species from indoor and greenhouse condition. The outdoor species belong to 9 families and 4 families for indoor species. The most numerous outdoor families were: Pseudococcidae (67 species), Coccidae (42 species), Diaspididae (37 species) and Eriococcidae (16 species). Most of the indoor species belong to: Diaspididae (20 species).The present paper contains data of 5 families and 28 species with collecting places, recording data.Three species were new for the scale insect fauna of the country: Spilococcus nanae Schmutterer, 1957, Spinococcus calluneti (Lindinger, 1912) and Rhizoecus albidus , Goux, 1936.

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We investigated alfalfa and stinging nettle from the point of view of their potential to supply natural enemies of pests for protecting greenhouse cultures. We carried out a three year long study based on sweepnetting. The most frequent predatory insect was Orius niger (Wolff) in alfalfa and nettle. This species among others has an important potential in the biological control of thrips. Among ladybugs, the most important species in alfalfa and nettle were Propylea quatuordecimpunctata (Linnaeus), Coccinella septempunctata Linnaeus and Hippodamia variegata (Goeze), which consume significant amounts of aphids. The most frequent spider family in alfalfa and nettle was Thomisidae and Philodromidae. The dynamics of their prey composition suggests that these taxa present a significant suppressive force on pests. The predator thrips Aeolothrips intermedius Bagnall that feeds on phytophagous thrips, mites and other soft-bodied arthropods was also significant in the arthropod assemblage of alfalfa. Our three-year investigation showed that the abundance and the species richness of the natural enemies of greenhouse crops are suitably high in both alfalfa and nettle stands. The number of generalist predators, natural enemies of pests, the most versatile tools of pest management reached its peak between mid-May to late June in nettle whereas due to mowing, the highest values for alfalfa were recorded from June to mid-August.

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In the present paper two species of leafhoppers (Cicadomorpha, Cicadellidae) are reported for the first time from Hungary. Both species were collected from ornamental plants along highway margins in the vicinity of Budapest. Liguropia juniperi (Lethierry, 1876) has already been reported from several European countries. Opsius smaragdinus Emeljanov, 1964 has only been previously reported from Ukraine and Asian part of Turkey.

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Acta Phytopathologica et Entomologica Hungarica
Authors: F. Kozár, F. Samu, É. Szita, Z. Konczné Benedicty, B. Kiss, E. Botos, K. Fetykó, D. Neidert and A. Horváth

Sixty three scale insect species are reported from the Mezőföld area (Hungary), a mosaic area of predominantly intensive agricultural land and scattered grassland and forested areas. In comparison, from the Kőrös-Maros National Park, dominated by natural grassland areas, only 31 species were reported. From the Mezőföld data 4 species were new for the Hungarian fauna and almost all species from Mezőföld were new for the given locality. The Mezőföld fauna could be characterised by more rare species and a lower Global Frequency Value (=higher level of species rarity), suggesting a higher overall conservation value. Scale insect species numbers show a strong negative correlation with the ratio of woody plantations. There was an overwhelming presence of a steppic scale insect species in grassland assemblages, and impoverished woody fauna of the studied wooded areas. However, there was no correlation with plant species number, with the area of natural vegetation, or with the area of loess steppe patches, which shows that the original loess step fauna is impoverished, heavily disturbed. In summary we can say, that the Mezőföld loess scale insect fauna is relatively poor, could be characterised by widely distributed, mezophilous, common species. However, it also has several important steppic elements, and therefore deserves protection.

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Community Ecology
Authors: F. Samu, F. Kádár, G. Ónodi, M. Kertész, A. Szirányi, É. Szita, K. Fetykó, D. Neidert, E. Botos and V. Altbäcker

Recent environmental and land use changes have made wildfires more frequent in natural habitats of the Kiskunság Sand Ridge on the Hungarian Plain. In a study initiated 2.5 years after an extensive fire that destroyed half of the area of a sand grassland — juniper, poplar forest steppe habitat, we assessed the effects of fire on two generalist arthropod groups: spiders and carabid beetles, as well as on the vegetation. Utilizing the natural experiment situation, samples were taken by pitfalls and suction sampling during a 1.5 years period in four 1 ha blocks, two of which were on the burnt part of the habitat, and two in the unburnt control. At the time of the investigation, in the burnt area the vegetation in the grass layer showed a quick but not complete recovery, while the canopy layer of the juniper bushes burnt down with no sign of regeneration. Carabid beetles and spiders showed differences in recovery after fire. In the carabid assemblages of the burnt parts — compared to the unburnt control — there were over three times more beetles, out of which significantly more represented the macropterous life form and granivorous feeding strategy. There was a higher ratio of pioneer species and a simplified assemblage structure in the burnt area, which meant that the conservation value of the carabid assemblage became lower there. In contrast, for the spider assemblage quantitative changes in abundance and species numbers were not significant, and the differences in species composition did not lead to a decrease in conservation value. Spider species in the burnt plots could not be described as pioneer species, rather they had ecological characteristics that suited the changed vegetation structure. Comparing the two groups, to repopulate the burnt areas, dispersal abilities proved to be more limiting for carabids. However, in both groups a strong assemblage level adaptation could be observed to the postfire conditions. In spiders, species with a stratum preference for the grass layer prevailed, while in carabids individuals with granivore strategy gained dominance. Thus, despite the differences in their speed, basically both assemblages tracked vegetation changes. The effect of future fires will depend on their scale, as well as land-use practices, such as grazing, that interact with fire frequency and recovery. If extensive fires in the future permanently change the vegetation, then it would also lead to a fundamental change in the arthropod fauna.

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