The biology and prey of Cerceris fumipennis and its use for bio-surveillance of the emerald ash borer

Monday, November 17, 2014: 10:12 AM
F151 (Oregon Convention Center)
Morgan Dube , Biological Sciences, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
Ash trees are a prominent feature and resource in New England forests and are important to our forest biodiversity and economy.  The destruction of large populations of this species can have severe ecosystem-level consequences.  Currently, the greatest threat to ash trees comes from extensive and serious infestations of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB, Agrilus planipennis).  Fortunately, Cerceris fumipennis, a predatory wasp, is recognized as presenting an extremely effective technique for locating and parasitizing adult EAB as well as other individuals within the family Buprestidae.   The NH Department of Agriculture and Division of Forests and Lands regard an understanding of the biology of this wasp as being critical in development of their plans to detect low density populations of EAB. 

My project was to monitor two large colonies of Cerceris fumipennis in central New Hampshire.  Incoming female C. fumipennis with prey were captured and their prey were collected and documented.  Emergence of the wasps appears to be nearly synchronous with 200 females emerging within 15 days of each other.  Thirty-four different prey species were produced (no EAB) and New Hampshire gained four new state records.  Seasonality was documented for ten most commonly taken buprestid species.  Monitoring for EAB is a key step in keeping the forests of New England and New York healthy and intact.  Effective management in New England forests can be implemented early with the help of C. fumipennis in the detection of low density populations of EAB.