2008 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
(1) Conduct explorations for natural enemies of the emerald ash borer (includes foreign exploration in the Far East as well as a search for native natural enemies of indigenous buprestid beetles), choose suitable investigation areas, inventory natural enemies attacking target pest, investigate the structure of the enemy complex, and conduct field studies of their impact on the target pest. (2) Perform bioecological studies on promising natural enemies discovered includes studies on life history and behavior, host specificity (Asiatic species), synchronization with the pest, physiological tolerance to different climatic factors, and establishment of priorities in utilization of promising species based upon their biological characteristics. (3) Quarantine services for beneficial insects includes quarantine handling of natural enemies of high priority plant pests for other in-house projects (Asian longhorned beetle, soybean aphid, lygus bugs, brown marmorated stingbug) and pass-thru services for state and federal agencies.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
Investigate natural enemies of emerald ash borer in Far East: inventory biotic agents, assess role in population dynamics of pest, set priorities for importation, and ship promising species to Newark for further study. Candidate species that appear to be monophagous or oligophagous, or which have many suspect host records will be subjected to laboratory tests in quarantine on North American species selected for study. Both choice and no-choice tests will be used in evaluating host range. Study natural enemies of indigenous buprestid beetles to identify effective candidate species that could be used effectively against EAB in North America. Experiments will be conducted to find optimum temperatures, relative humidity, and photoperiod needed to rear the most promising species. Releases will be made in areas having moderate to high host populations. Monitoring of EAB population density and natural enemy buildup and dispersal after colonization will be used to interpret the efficacy of biological control agents established. Screen incoming shipments of natural enemies of other pests for other ARS CRIS units as well as other institutions involved with biological control research, to remove undesirable organisms and obtain pure cultures of natural enemies other invasive species. Ship approved natural enemies to cooperators.
EMERALD ASH BORER RESEARCH: A foreign exploration trip was taken to northern Heilongjiang Province of China in October, 2007, for the purpose of selecting potential study sites and collecting natural enemies of emerald ash borer (EAB). There was very little evidence of EAB, and no natural enemies were recovered. A follow-up trip for the same purpose will be taken to Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei and southern Heilongjiang Provinces in September, 2008. Through a subordinate project (1926-22000-020-04S), surveys were conducted in the Primorski Kraj region of Russia. Populations of EAB were generally low, except in plantations of FRAXINUS PENNSYLVANICA in Khabarovsk City and vicinity. Some braconid parasitoids were reared from logs of FRAXINUS RHYNCHOPHYLLA containing galleries of only EAB. Based on the ratio of EAB exit holes to braconid exit holes, levels of parasitization were substantial. In-house field studies on native natural enemies of EAB were conducted in western Pennsylvania, where several species of parasitic Hymenoptera, including BALCHA INDICA and DOLICHOMITUS sp., were recovered from late instar EAB larvae and prepupae. These extant parasitoids may play a potential role in suppressing populations of EAB in North America. Laboratory studies are in progress to improve rearing methods so as to permit mass production of EAB parasitoids, a critical prerequisite to implementation of an area-wide program against the pest. Methods are currently being developed to establish EAB egg and larval cohorts for evaluation of the potential impact of three introduced Chinese parasitoids on the population of EAB. These methods involve placing EAB eggs in bark slits on ash tree trunks, caging egg-laying adult EAB, and use of ash twigs infested with EAB eggs, and may be used effectively to assess the contemporaneous contribution of different mortality factors including the introduced hymenopteran parasitoids to EAB population dynamics. This research relates to National Program 304, Problem Statements A - Understanding Complex Interactions under National Program Component III - Plant, Pest, and Natural Enemy Interactions and Ecology; and Problem Statement A - Traditional Biological Control under National Program Component V - Pest Control Technologies.
QUARANTINE SERVICES: A total of 16 permitted consignments were received by the Quarantine Facility, consisting of 2,318 specimens, 31 different species (eight potential beneficial species). From these consignments and cultures established from previous consignments, a total of 28 outgoing shipments (1,234 specimens, 12 species) were shipped to seven cooperators in four states. A total of 72 identification requests were submitted to the ARS Systematic Entomology Laboratory for determination. During FY 2008, a location modernization was completed which included an expansion of the quarantine facility. These improvements will help the ARS Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit meet the increasing challenge to American agriculture posed by invasive species.
5.Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations
Fuester, R.W., Swan, K.S., Taylor, P.B., Ramaseshiah, G. 2008. Effects of parent age at mating on reproductive response of glyptapanteles flavicoxis (hymenoptera: braconidae), a larval parasitoid of the gypsy moth (lepidoptera: lymantriidae). Journal of Economic Entomology. 101(4):1140-1145.