Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What the emerald ash borers did on their summer vacation

David R. Lance, david.r.lance@aphis.usda.gov1, Ivich Fraser2, and Victor C. Mastro, vic.mastro@aphis.usda.gov1. (1) USDA-APHIS-PPQ, Otis Pest Survey Detection and Exclusion Laboratory, Bldg 1398, Otis ANGB, MA, (2) USDA-APHIS-PPQ-EAB, 5936 Ford Court, Brighton, MI

We observed adult Agrilus planipennis on ash in Michigan to characterize their choice of microhabitat and allocation of time to various behaviors. Beetles spent the majority of their time resting on upper surfaces of leaves; approximately 10% of time was allocated each to feeding and walking. Relatively little time was spent on the lower surfaces of leaves or stems. The beetles flew frequently and typically used flight for any movement greater than several cm even among adjacent leaflets on individual leaves. Beetles were distributed throughout the foliage of the trees, although flight activity was greatest in the uppermost portions of canopies. Capture of beetles in traps placed at different levels in the canopy tended to reflect the higher levels of activity in tree-top and indicated that males were responsible for most of the tree-top flight. We believe this to be related to mating activity, as males would often hover and then land near, or directly on top of, a beetle in an apparent attempt to secure a mate.

Species 1: Coleoptera Buprestidae Agrilus planipennis (emerald ash borer)