PROTECTION OF SUBTROPICAL AND TROPICAL AGRICULTURE COMMODITIES AND ORNAMENTALS FROM EXOTIC INSECTS
Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research
Title: Method for collection of live redbay ambrosia beetles, Xyleborus glabratus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae)
Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 7, 2012
Publication Date: June 1, 2012
Citation: Kendra, P.E., Montgomery, W.S., Sanchez, J., Deyrup, M.A., Niogret, J., Epsky, N.D. 2012. Method for collection of live redbay ambrosia beetles, Xyleborus glabratus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). Florida Entomologist. 95(2):513-516.
Interpretive Summary: The redbay ambrosia beetle (RAB) is an exotic wood-boring pest that transmits laurel wilt, a deadly fungal disease currently threatening the avocado industry in Florida. There is a critical need for effective lures to detect, monitor and control the spread of this invasive pest. Development of lures could be greatly expedited through controlled laboratory experiments conducted with newly-emerged, host-seeking female RAB. As an alternative to costly, labor-intensive rearing of a laboratory colony of RAB, scientists at the USDA-ARS in Miami, FL developed a method for field collection of live RAB using freshly-cut host wood as bait. Female RAB collected with this method are in host-seeking mode and ideal for laboratory tests targeting identification of effective host-based attractants. Information from this study will be used by ARS and University of Florida researchers to develop improved lures for RAB.
The redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff, is the only confirmed vector of laurel wilt, a newly-described lethal disease of trees in the family Lauraceae, including avocado. First detected in the U.S. near Savannah, Georgia, X. glabratus has since spread to the Carolinas, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi, and currently threatens commercial avocado groves in Miami-Dade County, FL. Curtailing further spread of laurel wilt is dependent on development of improved lures for early detection of the vector. This could be greatly expedited through controlled experimental research conducted with newly-emerged, host-seeking females. As an alternative to costly, labor-intensive rearing of X. glabratus, we developed a method for field collection of dispersing females using freshly-cut host wood as bait. Female X. glabratus collected with this method are behaviorally and physiologically in host-seeking mode, ideally suited for evaluation of host-based attractants in controlled laboratory tests.