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Joshua Basham – Exit Seminar
April 24, 2020 @ 10:10 am - 11:00 am EDT
Joshua Basham (M.S. Non-thesis)- Bark Beetles, Ambrosia Beetles, Buprestids, and Other Beetles: A Non-thesis Journey with Coleoptera (Advisor: Dr. Grant)
“Order Coleoptera, whose members are commonly referred to as beetles, contains the largest number of species in the insect world. In fact, it is estimated that 1 of every 4 animals on Earth is a beetle. Their diversity in shape, size, coloration, feeding habits, etc. has fueled my interest in this group, especially in the ambrosia beetles (Scolytinae), which are harmful pests to the ornamental nursery industry. Various species cause extensive damage in nurseries, leading to significant economic loss. Adult beetles bore into trees excavating tunnels (i.e., galleries) while spreading symbiotic fungi. Larvae primarily feed on the fungi and can eventually kill the tree. The use of monitoring tools is an effective way to assess presence of ambrosia beetles in an area and aid in management decisions related to timely applications of insecticide treatments. Researchers have demonstrated that utilizing ethanol-baited bottle traps is an effective trapping method for ambrosia beetles. However, little is known about the influence of trap height on collections of ambrosia beetles. My practicum included a study to trap multiple species of Scolytinae from a mature mixed planting of red maple cultivars using ethanol-soaked red maple bolts as baits. Among species collected, this study focused on four target species and their flight activity at high (i.e., canopy [6 m]) or low (i.e., breast height [3 m]) levels in the tree. Cnestus mutilatus (Blandford) showed a preference for higher placed traps, while greater numbers of Xyleborinus saxesenii (Ratzeburg), Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Motschulsky), and Xylosandrus germanus (Blandford) were collected in lower level traps. These data illustrate the importance of placing traps at appropriate heights to target ambrosia beetle species. These results will inform management programs directed at ambrosia beetles in nursery plantings. This seminar will discuss my practicum, as well as other explorations that enhanced my knowledge of beetles.”