Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/11/2011
Publication Date: 6/1/2011
Citation: Kendra, P.E., Sanchez, J., Montgomery, W.S., Okins, K.E., Niogret, J., Pena, J.E., Epsky, N.D., Heath, R.R. 2011. Diversity of Scolytinae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) attracted to avocado, lychee, and essential oil lures. Florida Entomologist. 94(2):123-130. Interpretive Summary: The redbay ambrosia beetle (RAB) is an exotic wood-boring pest that transmits laurel wilt, a deadly fungal disease of trees in the laurel family, including avocado. As part of research to identify host-based attractants for RAB, scientists at the USDA-ARS in Miami, FL discovered that a large number of non-pest ambrosia beetles were attracted to the same baits. Initial research by forest entomologists identified manuka oil and phoebe oil as attractive baits for monitoring RAB, and a-copaene has been hypothesized to be one of the primary attractants emitted by host trees. ARS field tests using traps baited with manuka oil lures, phoebe oil lures, avocado wood (a known host tree), and lychee wood (a non-host tree high in a-copaene) found that none of these baits was specific in attraction of RAB. Many closely-related, non-target beetles were captured in the traps. This report will aid other researchers with identification of non-target captures, and the findings emphasize the need for additional research to identify specific attractants for early detection and control of RAB.
Technical Abstract: The redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), is an exotic wood-boring insect that vectors laurel wilt, a lethal vascular disease of trees in the Lauraceae, including avocado (Persea americana) and native Persea species (redbay, swampbay). As part of research to identify host-based attractants for X. glabratus, it was discovered that a diverse array of non-target ambrosia beetles were attracted to the same substrates. Previous research identified two essential oils, manuka and phoebe, as attractive baits for monitoring X. glabratus, and the sesquiterpene a-copaene has been hypothesized to be a primary host attractant. During Sep-Dec 2009, several field tests were conducted in north Florida (in woodlands with advanced stages of laurel wilt) using traps baited with commercial lures of manuka and phoebe, and with freshly-cut wood bolts of avocado (a known host) and lychee (Litchi chinensis, a non-host high in a-copaene). In addition, manuka-baited traps were deployed in avocado groves in south Florida to monitor for potential spread of X. glabratus. The combined trapping results indicated that none of these substrates was specific in attraction of X. glabratus. Numerous non-target ambrosia beetles were captured, including 17 species representative of four tribes within the subfamily Scolytinae. This report provides photo-documentation and data on the species diversity and relative abundance for a group of poorly-studied beetles, the scolytine community in Florida Persea habitats.