Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory2012 Annual Report
1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
ARS and U.S. Forest Service are interested in performing the research to aid in the identification of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and the related species of Agrilus woodboring beetles in its species group. Forest Service scientists will work with ARS to 1) discover host range and seasonality of EAB and related Agrilus species; 2) develop a fully illustrated identification manual for this group of beetles. The Forest Service and ARS have the expertise and infrastructure to effectively carry out the research and produce and disseminate the resulting information.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
ARS will undertake the taxonomic research on EAB and related species of Agrilus in collaboration with Forest Service who will develop further information on biology of the species. This information will be used by both ARS and the Forest Service to jointly develop the fully illustrated identification manual. The Forest Service and ARS will jointly work to disseminate the knowledge via training workshops and illustrated books.
3. Progress Report:
The emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis, is a very significant invasive beetle killing ash trees in the United States. ARS researchers in Washington, District of Columbia, along with Forest Service collaborators in East Lansing Michigan and a collaborator in St. Petersburg, Russia completed and published a manuscript on the morphology and identification of the immature stages of the emerald ash borer. Prior to this study, the immature life stages were poorly known and had never been fully described and illustrated. This paper will be a valuable tool to aid in the rapid identification of this serious invasive pest beetle in the United States. Scientists from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and ARS have worked jointly to complete descriptions, diagnoses, and illustrations for 5 new species of Agrilus related to the emerald ash borer. A manuscript has been prepared and is nearly ready for submission. A large collection of Laotian woodboring beetles was acquired and this material is crucial for developing species concepts and morphological and molecular analyses. Fieldwork was undertaken in China, Japan, and Vietnam to collect additional material to understand not only the diversity within the emerald ash borer, but to gain additional close relatives for the phylogenetic analyses.