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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Improved Trapping Methods for Enhanced Detection of Non-Native Ambrosia Beetles

Location: Application Technology Research

Project Number: 5082-22000-012-14-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 16, 2013
End Date: Jul 31, 2015

The objective of this project is to determine the extent to which conophthorin enhances the detection of non-native ambrosia beetles that affect hardwoods.

Exotic ambrosia beetles are serious pests of landscape, nursery, orchard and forest trees and among the most commonly intercepted insects at ports-of-entry in the United States. Early detection of these pests can trigger timely management responses that can greatly reduce the extent of damage and prevent catastrophic losses. The proposed work will provide an advanced management tactic to aid in the early detection of ambrosia beetles at high-risk sites. Ethanol-baited traps are almost exclusively used for detecting non-native ambrosia beetles at ports-of-entry, but host-derived compounds may improve trap attractiveness. We have recently found that conopthorin enhances the attraction of Xylosandrus crassiusculus to ethanol-baited traps. Our research will determine the extent to which conophthorin enhances the detection of non-native ambrosia beetles that affect hardwoods at high-risk sites. The study will be conducted at high-risk sites in Indiana and Ohio from early spring to mid-summer 2014. At each site, bottle traps will be placed along separate transects and baited with lures comprised of one of the following: (1) ethanol alone, (2) (E)-(±)-conophthorin, or (3) ethanol and conophthorin. Captured insects will be collected from traps on a weekly basis, at which time, treatments will be rotated within transects to control for any location effects. At the completion of this study, we expect to have determined the capacity of conophthorin to enhance the detection of exotic ambrosia beetles. These studies are innovative in that it will lead to improved early detection of exotic ambrosia beetles – one of the most cost-effective approaches to reduce the impact of invasive species. The successful completion of this project is expected to have an important impact on ambrosia beetle monitoring and detection efforts.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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