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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #316077

Research Project: Alternatives to Methyl Bromide: Mitigation of the Threat from Exotic Tropical and Subtropical Insect Pests

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: Predators and parasitoids associated with Scolytinae in Persea spp., and other Lauraceae in Florida and Taiwan

item Pena, Jorge - University Of Florida
item Mclean, Stephen - University Of Florida
item Cave, Ronald - University Of Florida
item Duncan, Rita - University Of Florida
item Krauth, Stephen - University Of Wisconsin
item Kendra, Paul

Submitted to: Florida Entomologist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/7/2015
Publication Date: 9/1/2015
Citation: Pena, J., Mclean, S., Cave, R., Duncan, R., Krauth, S., Kendra, P.E. 2015. Predators and parasitoids associated with Scolytinae in Persea spp., and other Lauraceae in Florida and Taiwan. Florida Entomologist. 98 (3):903-910.

Interpretive Summary: Interpretive Summary The redbay ambrosia beetle (RAB) is an exotic wood-boring pest that transmits laurel wilt, a deadly fungal disease of American trees in the laurel family (Lauraceae), including native forest species and commercial avocado. Currently, there is no satisfactory method to control RAB, and biological control may provide a means to lower pest populations and slow the spread of laurel wilt. In a collaborative effort involving the University of Florida, USDA-ARS, USDA-APHIS, and other institutions, a study was initiated to determine the natural enemy community associated with RAB in Florida and Taiwan. Species identified included predaceous beetles (from within the families Laemophloeidae, Staphylinidae, Zopheridae, and Monotomidae) and parasitic wasps (from the Bethylidae, Braconidae, Encyrtidae, and Scelionidae). Information from this initial study will guide future research to identify the most promising biological agents for potential control of RAB.

Technical Abstract: Abstract Due to its association with Raffaelea lauricola, a pathogen that causes laurel wilt, the redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus is considered one of the most damaging pests of Persea species including avocado. Currently there is no satisfactory method to control this pest. Biological control is being examined as an additional tool to be used to lower the pest population and slow its spread. The objective of this study was to determine the natural enemy community associated with X. glabratus in Florida and Taiwan using 3 methods: 1) field-collected wood naturally infested with X. glabratus, 2) bolts of avocado artificially infested with X. glabratus (Florida) and 3) direct collection of natural enemies from a trap area baited with infested wood and known X. glabratus lures (Florida and Taiwan). Among the predacious insects, there were 8 species of Laemophloeidae, an unidentified species of Staphylinidae, Microsicus spp. (Zopheridae), and Europs sp. (Monotomidae). Among the parasitoids, hymenopterans of the families Braconidae, Eulophidae, Pteromalidae, Encyrtidae, Eupelmidae and Bethylidae emerged from wood containing various species of Scolytinae. However, the only specimens that emerged from logs where X. glabratus was present were Bethylidae, Braconidae, Encyrtidae (perhaps Closterocerus sp.), and Scelionidae. Four hymenopteran species were collected using attractants in Florida and Taiwan. However, more studies are needed to clarify their role as natural enemies of X. glabratus.