Coexistence of three specialist predators of the hemlock woolly adelgid in the Pacific Northwest USA
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Bulletin of Entomological Research
The hemlock woolly adelgid (Hemiptera: Adelgidae: Adelges tsugae Annand) is an invasive insect, introduced from Japan to eastern North America, where it causes decline and death of hemlock trees. There is a closely related lineage of A. tsugae native to western North America. To inform classical biological control of A. tsugae in the eastern USA, the density and phenology of three native western adelgid specialist predators, Leucopis argenticollis (Zetterstedt), Le. piniperda (Malloch) (Diptera: Chamaemyiidae), and Laricobius nigrinus Fender (Coleoptera: Derodontidae), were quantified in the Pacific Northwest. Infested branches were collected from western hemlock (Pinaceae: Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.) at four sites around the Puget Sound, Washington and three sites in Oregon. Immature Leucopis were identified to species using DNA barcodes. Leucopis argenticollis was roughly twice as abundant as Le. piniperda. Laricobius nigrinus larvae were more abundant than the two species of Leucopis during the egg stage of the first adelgid generation, but Leucopis were present as feeding larvae during the second adelgid generation when La. nigrinus was aestivating in the soil, resulting in Leucopis being more abundant than La. nigrinus across the entire sampling period. Adelges tsugae and La. nigrinus densities were not correlated, while A. tsugae and Leucopis spp. densities were positively correlated. Leucopis spp. and La. nigrinus densities were negatively correlated. These results support the complementary use of La. nigrinus and the two Leucopis species for biological control of A. tsugae in the eastern USA, and point to the need for further investigation of spatial and temporal niche partitioning among the three predator species.
Rose, Alexander; Ross, Darrell W.; Havill, Nathan P.; Motley, Kyle; Wallin, Kimberly F. 2020. Coexistence of three specialist predators of the hemlock woolly adelgid in the Pacific Northwest USA. Bulletin of Entomological Research. 110(3): 303-308. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007485319000622.