We deployed branch traps in an ash (Fraxinus) plantation to investigate how Agrilus planipennis behavior is associated with Fraxinus pennsylvanica condition and dispersal patterns. Data were collected from traps with or without the presence of beetle visual decoys, and from a yearly survey of exit holes. The traps were placed on trees that were either clearly declining, with most foliage arising from epicormic sprouting, or on apparently healthy trees, with little evidence of damage or decline. We calculated correlations of exit holes among neighboring tree rings and also between exit holes and male trap captures. The damaged trees the traps were hung upon had more cumulative exit holes observed than the corresponding healthy trees. However, there was otherwise no evidence that the experiment was biased by differences in exit hole patterns of the surrounding trees. Male captures were greater on decoy-baited traps than controls and this decoy effect was most clearly apparent late in the season when traps were placed on healthy trees. There were also patterns of correlations between male captures and exit hole numbers that may be indicative of short-range mate finding-and dispersal behaviors. Female captures were sparser, but were positively affected by decoys on healthy and declining trees early in the season. Thus, the results suggest that the placement of such traps on healthier trees will maximize detection, and the branch traps also show promise for further use in dispersal studies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science