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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Miami, Florida » Subtropical Horticulture Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341261

Research Project: Methyl Bromide Replacement: Mitigation of the Invasive Pest Threat from the American Tropics and Subtropics

Location: Subtropical Horticulture Research

Title: Vertical distribution and daily flight periodicity of ambrosia beetles associated with laurel wilt affected avocado orchards.

item Menocal, Octavio - University Of Florida
item Kendra, Paul
item Crane, Jonathan - University Of Florida
item Carrillo, Daniel - University Of Florida

Submitted to: Florida Entomological Society Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/4/2017
Publication Date: 7/17/2017
Citation: Menocal, O., P. E. Kendra, J. H. Crane, and D. Carrillo. 2017. Vertical distribution and daily flight periodicity of ambrosia beetles associated with laurel wilt affected avocado orchards. 100th Annual Meeting of the Florida Entomological Society. Isla Verde, PR. 16-20 Jul 2017.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Recently, ambrosia beetles have emerged as significant pests of avocado (Persea americana Mill.; Lauraceae) due to their association with fungal pathogens, in particular, the causal agent of laurel wilt disease, Raffaelea lauricola. The objective of this study was to provide insights into the interaction of ambrosia beetles with avocado trees by documenting their flight height and daily flight periodicity in avocado orchards affected by laurel wilt. In the flight height experiment, a total of 1,306 individuals of 12 species of ambrosia beetle were captured using ladder like traps with unbaited sticky panels arranged at three height levels (i.e., low: 0–2 m; middle: 2–4 m; high: 4–6 m). Six species accounted for ~95% of the captures: Xyleborus volvulus, Xyleborinus saxesenii, Euplatypus parallelus, Xyleborus bispinatus, Xyleborus affinis, and Hypothenemus spp. The primary vector of R. lauricola, Xyleborus glabratus, was not captured. All species were captured at the three height levels tested. Xyleborus volvulus showed a preference for flight at the low-level. Xyleborus bispinatus showed no preference between the low and middle levels. Field observations revealed that X. crassiusculus, X. bispinatus, X. volvulus, and X. affinis engage in flight near dusk (19:30 h EDST), when light intensity and wind speed decrease, providing a period for selective capture of these species. However, each species had a different temporal pattern in host-seeking flight. The results suggest that ambrosia beetles typically fly near sunset and interact with the main trunk and major scaffold limbs of avocado trees.