Orientation behavior of the predator Laricobius nigrinus (Coleoptera: Derodontidae) to hemlock woolly adelgid and host tree odors in a multi-chambered olfactometer.
We studied the adult ambulatory response of the predator, Laricobius nigrinus Fender (Coleoptera: Derodontidae), to odors from its prey, Adelges tsugae Annand, the hemlock woolly adelgid, and foliage of hemlock woolly adelgid, host hemlocks (Tsuga spp.), and other conifers. Both the predator and hemlock woolly adelgid are apparently native to western North America, but the predator is being released in the eastern United States, which has different hemlock species, for biological control of a lineage of hemlock woolly adelgid inadvertently introduced from Japan. L. nigrinus responded to odors from hemlock woolly adelgid host trees, but not to odors from hemlock woolly adelgid. L. nigrinus collected from hemlock woolly adelgid-infested western hemlock were more strongly attracted to odors from western hemlock [Tsuga heterophylla (Rafinesque) Sargent] than eastern hemlock [Tsuga canadensis (L.) Carrière] in most trials. Odors from western white pine (Pinus monticola Douglas ex D. Don) and white spruce [Picea glauca (Moench) Voss] were as attractive as western hemlock odors whereas odors from Douglas-fir [Pseudotsuga menziesii variety menziesii (Mirbel)] and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Douglas ex Lawson) were avoided. L. nigrinus reared on hemlock woolly adelgid-infested eastern hemlock in the laboratory were lethargic and were not attracted to either eastern or western hemlock odors. Predators collected in the field and tested monthly from December to March responded similarly each month, except February, when they flew rather than walked in the olfactometer, suggesting a period of dispersal or mate finding at that time of year. The implications of these results for programs to release L. nigrinus in the eastern United States for control of hemlock woolly adelgid are discussed.