Post-release establishment and supercooling point assessment of Laricobius osakensis, a predator of the hemlock woolly adelgid
Toland, Ashley Anne
MetadataShow full item record
The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), Adelges tsugae Annand (Hemiptera: Adelgidae), is an invasive pest from Japan that is causing significant hemlock mortality in the eastern U.S. The most promising control method is biological control. Beetles in the genus Laricobius are adelgid specialists. In 2005, Laricobius osakensis, was discovered in Japan and in 2010 was approved for release in the eastern United States and there have now been more than 60 releases. In 2014, the polar vortex resulted in significant HWA mortality in the eastern U.S., depleting the food source for L. osakensis, which resulted in low field recoveries of them. In the 2015-2016 field season, there were 14 larvae recovered from the field, and the 2016-2017 field season yielded 90 larvae. A significant correlation was found between Laricobius beetles recovered and HWA density, between HWA density and plant hardiness zone, and a negative correlation between Laricobius beetles recovered and average tree health. Understanding more about the supercooling point of L. osakensis gave insight to its ability to survive subfreezing temperatures as occurred in 2014. Comparison of the supercooling point between the northern and southern populations of L. osakensis, and to the other released HWA predator, L. nigrinus, will allow us to determine which biological control agent is best suited for release in the coldest regions. The overall mean supercooling points of northern L. osakensis was -13.52 oC, southern L. osakensis was -13.42 oC, and L. nigrinus was -13.57 oC. There were no significant differences between species or populations.
- Masters Theses