Visually mediated 'paratrooper copulations' in the mating behavior of Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), a highly destructive invasive pest of North American ash trees

Jonathan P. Lelito, Ivich Fraser, Victor C. Mastro, James H. Tumlinson, Katalin Böröczky, Thomas C. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Scopus citations

Abstract

The emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis, is a serious invasive pest of North American ash (Fraxinus) trees. In captivity, mating is initiated by beetles at least 10 days old, and appears to be based simply on random contact with a member of the opposite sex. In the field, male A. planipennis search the tree during flight, and attempt to copulate with dead beetles of both sexes pinned to leaves, after descending rapidly straight down onto the pinned beetles from a height of from 30 to 100 cm. All evidence suggests that males find potential mates using visual cues. Equal numbers of feral males approach all 'dummy' beetles; however, considerably more time is spent attempting copulation with dead females rather than males, suggesting a contact chemical cue. Sticky traps prepared from dead, pinned EAB capture crawling insects as well as male A. planipennis, at a rate similar to that at which small purple sticky traps of similar overall area capture crawling insects and both sexes of feral EAB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)537-552
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Insect Behavior
Volume20
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science

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