Sunday, December 9, 2007 - 9:41 AM

Development of a biological control program for emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)

Leah S. Bauer,, USDA Forest Service, 1407 S. Harrison Rd, East Lansing, MI, Houping Liu,, Michigan State University, Department of Entomology, East Lansing, MI, and Juli Gould,, USDA-APHIS-PPQ-CPHST, Otis Pest Survey, Detection, and Exclusion Laboratory, Building 1398, Otis ANGB, MA.

The emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), an exotic wood-boring insect of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.), was discovered in Michigan and Ontario in 2002. It has since been found in areas of Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania mainly through transport of infested ash firewood and ash nursery stock. In earlier studies, few natural enemies of A. planipennis were found throughout southern Michigan. Research on natural enemies in northeastern China led to the discovery of three parasitoids endemic to A. planipennis: Oobius agrili (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), a parthenogenic solitary egg parasitoid; Tetrastichus planipennisi (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), a gregarious larval endoparasitoid; and Spathius agrili (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), a gregarious ectoparasitoid. We have also completed studies on these parasitoids including their taxonomy, biology, laboratory rearing and storage, population biology in China, and the host specificity. Our results support the use of these parasitoids for classical biocontrol agent for suppression of A. planipennis. Thus, we requested permission to release these natural enemies in Michigan in January 2007 and await approval.

Species 1: Coleoptera Buprestidae Agrilus planipennis (emerald ash borer)
Species 2: Hymenoptera Encyrtidae Oobius agrili
Species 3: Hymeoptera Eulophidae Tetrastichus planipennisi