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Research Project: Biological Control of Invasive Wood-Boring Insect Pests such as Emerald Ash Borer and Asian Longhorned Beetle

Location: Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit

Title: Biology and natural enemies of Agrilus fleischeri (Coleoptera:Buprestidae), a newly emerging destructive buprestid pest in Northeast China

Author
item Zhang, Kei - Chinese Academy Of Forestry
item Wang, Yi Xiao - Chinese Academy Of Forestry
item Yang, Zhong Qi - Chinese Academy Of Forestry
item Wei, Ke - Chinese Academy Of Forestry
item Duan, Jian

Submitted to: Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/22/2016
Publication Date: 11/29/2016
Citation: Zhang, K., Wang, Y., Yang, Z., Wei, K., Duan, J.J. 2016. Biology and natural enemies of Agrilus fleischeri (Coleoptera:Buprestidae), a newly emerging destructive buprestid pest in Northeast China. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology. 20:47–52.

Interpretive Summary: Understanding the biology, life history and natural enemies of insect pests is critical to the development of biologically based pest management programs for protection of agricultural crops and forest trees. The jewel beetle Agrilus fleischeri (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) is a newly emerging major pest of poplar trees (Populus spp.) in northeast China and is responsible for the poplar mortality throughout its distribution range there. If accidentally transported to the United States, it could potentially become an invasive forest pest that poses serious threats to North American poplar trees in both urban and natural forests. Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Forestry and USDA ARS Beneficial Insects Research Unit investigated the biology, life history and natural enemies of this forest pest in Northeast China from May 2014 and September 2015. Results from our study showed that this wood boring beetle primarily completed one generation in a year, but some individuals completed one generation in two years. The adult beetles usually emerged between 9 am to 5:00 pm on sunny days from mid May to mid June and lived for 34.61 ± 18.42 days after emergence. Our survey also discovered four natural enemies - one attacking the beetle eggs and four attacking the beetle larvae. These natural enemies could be potentially used for biological control of this pest in Northeast China and other locations where the pest is distributed. This information would be very useful to the development of effective biocontrol programs against this pest if it is accidentally transported to U.S. or other non-native locations.

Technical Abstract: The jewel beetle Agrilus fleischeri Obenberger (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) is a newly emerging major pest of poplar trees (Populus spp.) in northeast China and is responsible for the poplar mortality throughout its distribution range. In order to determine how to manage this pest effectively, we studied the biology, life history and natural enemies of this pest through field surveys in two locations in Liaoning Province, China from May 2014 to September 2015, as well as laboratory observations. Results showed that A. fleischeri was primarily univoltine, however, some individuals were semivoltine. The A. fleischeri individuals with a 1-year life cycle overwintered as mature (full-grown) larvae in their pupal chambers, whereas those with a semivoltine life history overwintered in galleries as the 2nd or 3rd instar larvae. Adults of A. fleischeri usually emerged from 09:00 to 17:00 hrs on sunny days, and the mean longevity of adults was 34.61 ± 18.42 days after emergence. The sex ratio of adult A. fleischeri (male: female) beetles was approximately 1:1. One egg parasitoid Oobius sp. (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) and four larval parasitoids Polystenus rugosus (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), Euderus sp. (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), Paramblynotus sp. (Hymenoptera: Liopteridae), and Spathius sp. (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) were found attacking A. fleischeri in the field. High parasitism rates of this buprestid beetle suggested that these parasitoids could be potentially effective biocontrol agents for suppressing populations of A. fleischeri.