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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Newark, Delaware » Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit » Research » Research Project #431710

Research Project: Expanded Foreign Exploration for New Natural Enemies of the Emerald Ash Borer in Central and South China for Classical Biological Control

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit

Project Number: 8010-22000-031-02-I
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2016
End Date: Aug 31, 2021

(1) Survey, collection, and identification of natural enemies (parasitoids) associated with emerald ash borers and other buprestids infesting ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) and fringetrees (Chionanthus spp.) in central and southern China such as Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Sichuan, Guanxi and Yunnan provinces; (2) Import natural enemies into the USDA ARS quarantine laboratory for evaluation as potential EAB biocontrol agents; and (3) Investigate the role of natural enemies in regulating the pest populations in central and southern part of EAB’s native range.

With the assistance of Chinese cooperators, we will identify and locate ash and fringe trees in central and southern China, and artificially stress these host trees six to 12 months prior to sampling of various live EAB stages (eggs and larvae). We will target to girdle 20 to 40 ash and/fringe trees at each study site from central and southern China (including Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Sichuan, Guanxi and/or Yunnan Provinces) in the spring or early summer of 2017 (Year one). Girdled ash and/or fringe trees will be felled and sampled for immature EAB live stages (eggs and larvae) and associated parasitoids in late fall of 2017 and/or spring of 2018 (Year two). In the spring or early summer of 2018, additional (20 – 40) ash and/or fringe trees will then be girdled, these girdled trees will then be felled and sampled in the fall of 2018 or the spring of 2019 (Year three) for immature EAB stages and associated parasitoids. The sampling procedures for immature EAB live stages and associated parasitoids will involve collecting and examining loose barks from the stressed trees for egg parasitoids and debarking the trees for larval parasitoids. These sampling methods have been proven effective and used for EAB parasitoid survey and collection in several published studies. Specimens of natural enemies, primarily egg and larval parasitoids that show significant impact on wood borers in girdled trees will be collected, identified and shipped to the USDA ARS quarantine facility in Newark, DE (J. Duan Laboratory) for further evaluation of their potential for use in biological control programs. The USDA ARS Systematic Entomology Lab (J Mottern and M. Gates) will assist in the taxonomy and identification of collected egg and larval parasitoids.