Location: Systematic Entomology Laboratory
Project Number: 8042-22000-263-02-N
Project Type: Non-Funded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 20, 2011
End Date: Mar 31, 2014
To mitigate the multi-million dollar risk posed by invasive pest the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis, Coleoptera: Buprestidae) and other closely related Agrilus species to North America and European forests and forest products.
The design of the project will be mainly based on an annual cycle with the (01) fieldwork in the Asia-Pacific Regions, mainly P.R. China, followed by the (02) lab work with the borrowed and collected beetle samples. (01) Fieldwork for this project will consist of two integral parts: sampling beetles in the forests of the Asia-Pacific Region and working with the collaborating personnel there. Every year CFIA and USDA team members will travel to the Asia-Pacific Region, meet their local collaborator, and go to the field. Sampling of Agrilus beetles in nature is a highly specialized activity to be performed only by most dedicated efforts of a qualified person having proper equipment. Agrilus adult beetles cannot be effectively attracted to any known trap or attractant, and, therefore, they have to be hand collected beating vegetation in early hours when beetles are not most active to fly away, or by high canopy sweeping with large-diameter nets on long handles. This biological peculiarity sets Agrilus collecting aside from any general beetle sampling and is the main reason why we have to spend so much time in the field collecting fresh specimens. Immature stages of Agrilus, mainly larvae, will be actively looked for under tree bark. All specimens will be collected and subsequently kept in 95% ethanol to allow for DNA preservation and extraction. Whenever possible, host species of Agrilus pests will be recorded. (02) Monographic treatment of A. planipennis species-group will cover some 20–30 species most closely related to EAB. It will follow the procedure of ARS' scientist monograph of the Anoplophora of Asia. The book will be richly illustrated to serve as the user friendly diagnostic tool for regulatory personnel at ports of entry and diagnostic centres in both Canada and the USA. Taxonomic revisions of sub-sections of the genus Agrilus will be produced following the process already well-established by the CFIA members of the project team. These papers will be of a more technical nature as compared to the monograph. They will provide all necessarily taxonomic formalities for species delimitation and descriptions.