Olfactory and visual cues in host finding by bark beetles.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
This study examined the role of olfactory and visual cues in host finding of the pine bark beetles Hylastes ater and Hylurgus ligniperda and the burnt pine longhorn beetle Arhopalus ferus. The ultimate aim of this research was to provide new information on attractant and repellent (such as non-host leaf volatiles) stimuli to improve monitoring methods and reduce the attack by wood-boring and bark beetle species. A field trapping trial of visual and olfactory cues near Nelson caught 7842 H. ater, 274,594 H. ligniperda and 16,301 A. ferus adults. There were significant effects of both visual (colour and sihoutte) and olfactory (host and non-host volatiles) cues for all three species. The highest catches were in black (host mimicking), panel flight intercept traps baited with attractant (α-pinene and ethanol) and the lowest in clear or white (non-host mimicking) control traps. The repellent, green leaf volatiles (GLV) ((E)-2-hexen-1-ol & (Z)-3-hexen-1-ol) when present on traps with attractant reduced catches significantly but modestly in H. ater and H. ligniperda, but had no significant effect on A. ferus. A field trial near Christchurch found that GLV applied as a topical repellent halved the number of beetles attacking Pinus radiata logs. This reduction was significant in H. ligniperda, but not quite (P = 0.07) in H. ater. Placing logs among broadleaved plants (natural sources of non-host volatiles) significantly reduced attack of H. ligniperda by about 75% compared to logs in the open, but had no effect on H. ater. Attack by H. ater was found on 4% of 500 P. radiata seedlings in a field trial near Dunedin. Treatment of seedlings with GLV significantly affected the severity and proportion of seedlings attacked by H. ater, compared with insecticide-treated and control seedlings, but the treatment effect was apparently driven by an unexpected direct damaging effect of GLV on the health of seedlings. It is recommended that future research explores the use of non-host volatiles from natural sources that influence host finding in wood–boring and bark beetle species for the protection of plantation forests in New Zealand.