Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Community of bark and Ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae and Platypodinae) infesting Brazilian peppertree treated with herbicide and the volatile tree response.

Abstract

Brazilian peppertree, Schinus terebinthifolia Raddi (Anacardiaceae), is one of the most invasive weeds of natural and agricultural areas of Florida, Hawaii, and Texas (USA). Herbicides are the main tool used to manage populations of this weed. Faunal inventories of the insects associated with invasive populations of the weed have mostly listed leaf-feeding phytophagous, pollinator, or predacious species. Among these, bark and ambrosia beetles were collected only once from S. terebinthifolia in the invaded range and there are no reports from the native range. A diverse assemblage of bark and ambrosia beetles, many well-known economic pests of ornamentals, was reared from S. terebinthifolia bolts collected at a restoration site in Florida that had been treated with herbicide (triclopyr ester). A similar collection of beetles was captured on ethanol-baited sticky traps. No beetles emerged from bolts of untreated trees, almost none emerged from those wounded with a machete (3.1% of total), whereas nearly all the beetles collected emerged from bolts that had been treated with herbicide (62.3%) or the combination wounded + herbicide (34.6%). Ethanol was detected from the herbicide and wound + herbicide-treated bolts suggesting this was the attractive kairomone. Abundant amounts of other volatiles were collected from all bolts, especially from the wounded treatment, but no association was detected between volatile emissions and beetle infestation. Further studies are needed to determine whether invasive populations of S. terebinthifolia treated with herbicides constitute reservoirs for pest bark and ambrosia beetles that may spill over onto neighboring ornamental hosts.