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Semiochemical-mediated flight strategies of two invasive elm bark beetles: A potential factor in competitive displacement

Posted date: June 02, 2010
Publication Year: 
Authors: Lee, Jana C.; Hamud, Shakeeb M.; Negron, Jose; Witcosky, Jeffrey J.; Seybold, Steven J.
Publication Series: 
Miscellaneous Publication
Source: Environmental Entomology. 3(2): 642-652.


A seven-state survey showed that the recently detected invasive Asian banded elm bark beetle, Scolytus schevyrewi Semenov, was abundant in areas of Colorado and Wyoming, whereas the long-established European elm bark beetle, S. multistriatus (Marsham), was not as abundant. In one of a series of studies to evaluate whether S. schevyrewi is competitively displacing S. multistriatus in their North American zone of sympatry, we characterized long-range flight responses infested or uninfested to small cut logs of American, Chinese, and Siberian elm, Ulmus americana, U. parvifolia, and U. pumila. Trials were conducted in Colorado and Wyoming to test the flight response of S. schevyrewi; in California to test the response of S. multistriatus; and in Nevada to test the responses of both species simultaneously. Studies with S. schevyrewi showed that males and females aggregated toward Ulmus spp. host volatiles but provided no evidence of a putative aggregation pheromone during the 0- to 48- or 48- to 96-h period of infestation. In contrast, S. multistriatus was attracted to U. pumila over unbaited controls, more to U. pumila infested with conspecific females than without, and more during the 48- to 96- versus 0- to 48-h period of infestation. This confirmed that male and female S. multistriatus aggregated toward host volatiles and that females produced an aggregation pheromone. In a cross-attraction study, S. schevyrewi displayed neither flight preference nor interruption to U. pumila infested with conspecifics, heterospecifics, or a mix of both species. Response of S. multistriatus was too low to draw conclusions. Although S. multistriatus aggregates moderately to host volatiles and strongly to female-derived pheromones emitted after a few days, S. multistriatus may have a relative disadvantage by selecting elm hosts more slowly than S. schevyrewi, which aggregates very strongly to host volatiles. The differential long-range host location strategy may be one factor in a chain of behavioral events that leads to advantageous host colonization and development by S. schevyrewi.


Lee, Jana C.; Hamud, Shakeeb M.; Negron, Jose F.; Witcosky, Jeffrey J.; Seybold, Steven J. 2010. Semiochemical-mediated flight strategies of two invasive elm bark beetles: A potential factor in competitive displacement. Environmental Entomology. 3(2): 642-652.