Effect of tree species and end seal on attractiveness and utility of cut bolts to the redbay ambrosia beetle and granulate ambrosia beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae).
The redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff, is a non-native invasive pest and vector of the fungus that causes laurel wilt disease in certain trees of the family Lauraceae. This study assessed the relative attractiveness and suitability of cut bolts of several tree species to X. glabratus. In 2009, female X. glabratus were equally attracted to traps baited with swampbay (Persea palustris (Rafinesque) Sargent) and camphortree (Cinnamomum camphora (L.) J. Presl), which were more attractive than avocado (Persea americana Miller), lancewood (Ocotea coriacea (Swartz) Britton), and sweetbay (Magnolia virginiana L.). These species were more attractive than loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus (L.) J. Ellis). X. glabratus entrance hole density and emergence from caged bolts were highest on swampbay and camphortree. In 2010, swampbay was significantly more attractive to X. glabratus than sassafras (Sassafras albidum (Nuttall) Nees), yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera L.), and eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis L.). Sassafras bolts end sealed with a liquid wax-and-water emulsion were more attractive to X. glabratus than end-sealed bolts of yellow poplar and redbud. Relative to unsealed bolts, end seal decreased X. glabratus entrance hole density on swampbay and decreased granulate ambrosia beetle (Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Motschulsky)) trap catch, entrance hole density, and adult emergence from swampbay. X. crassiusculus was not attracted to sassafras, yellow poplar, and redbud and was not more attracted to manuka oil than to unbaited traps. Sassafras was more attractive to X. glabratus than previously reported and supported reproducing populations of the insect. End sealing bolts with a wax-and-water emulsion may not be optimal for attracting and rearing ambrosia beetles in small logs.