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Two new species of egg parasitoids, Oobius saimaensis Yao and Mottern new species and Oobius fleischeri Yao and Duan new species (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), are described from eggs of Agrilus fleischeri Obenberger, 1925 (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). Agrilus fleischeri is a phloem-feeding woodborer of poplar (Populus Linnaeus; Salicaceae) in northeastern China. These two species can be distinguished morphologically as O. fleischeri has five tarsomeres and O. saimaensis has four tarsomeres. Although O. saimaensis is morphologically similar to its sympatric congener O. agrili Zhang and Hang, 2005, an important natural enemy of the invasive emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, 1888, molecular phylogenetics and morphological data indicate that they are distinct species. Phylogenetic relationships among the new species and other closely related species are also inferred by using DNA sequence data from several ribosomal and mitochondrial genes. In addition, we expand the known distribution of Oobius primorskyensis Yao and Duan, 2016 to include South Korea.
To investigate natural enemies of emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), in northeastern China, we conducted field surveys of ash (Fraxinus Linnaeus (Oleaceae)) trees in semi-natural forests and plantations at variable EAB densities from 2008 to 2013. Our surveys revealed a complex of natural enemies including eight hymenopteran parasitoids and two apparently parasitic Coleoptera, woodpeckers, and several undetermined mortality factors. Parasitoid complex abundance and its contribution to EAB mortality varied with the time of year, type of ash stands, and geographic regions. The egg parasitoid Oobius agrili Zhang and Huang (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) and the larval parasitoid Tetrastichus planipennisi Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) were frequently observed in Jilin, Liaoning, and Heilongjiang provinces and in Beijing, but not in Tianjin. Spathius agrili Yang (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), however, was more prevalent near Beijing and further south in Tianjin. Larvae of two species of apparently parasitic beetle, Tenerus Laporte (Coleoptera: Cleridae) species and Xenoglena quadrisignata Mannerheim (Coleoptera: Trogossitidae), were also recovered attacking overwintering EAB in Liaoning Province, with Tenerus species being a dominant mortality agent (~13%). Our findings support the need to consider the geographic origin of insect natural enemies for EAB biocontrol, as well as an expanded foreign exploration for EAB natural enemies throughout its native range in Asia.
First detected in North America in 2002, the emerald ash borer (EAB) (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire; Coleoptera: Buprestidae), an invasive phloem-feeding beetle from Asia, has killed tens of millions of ash (Fraxinus Linnaeus; Oleaceae) trees. Although few parasitoids attack EAB in North America, three parasitoid species were found attacking EAB in China: the egg parasitoid Oobius agrili Zhang and Huang (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) and two larval parasitoids Tetrastichus planipennisi Yang (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) and Spathius agrili Yang (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). In 2007, classical biological control of EAB began in the United States of America after release of these three species was approved. In 2013, release of the larval parasitoids was approved in Canada. Research continues at study sites in Michigan, United States of America where the establishment, prevalence, and spread of O. agrili and T. planipennisi have been monitored since 2008. However, establishment of S. agrili remains unconfirmed in northern areas, and its release is now restricted to regions below the 40th parallel. In 2015, approval for release of Spathius galinae Belokobylskij (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), an EAB larval parasitoid from the Russian Far East, may be granted in the United States of America. Researchers are guardedly optimistic that a complex of introduced and native natural enemies will regulate EAB densities below a tolerance threshold for survival of ash species or genotypes in forested ecosystems.
A standardized bioassay procedure was used to determine median lethal doses (LD50) of the microsporidium, Nosema fumiferanae (Thom.), on newly molted fourth- and fifth-instar eastern spruce budworm larvae (Choristoneura fumiferana (Clem.)). The LD50 for fifth-instar larva was 1.23 × 106 ± 2.82 × 105 spores. The fourth-instar LD50 was 2.23 × 104 ± 4.30 × 103 spores per larva for populations experiencing prolonged post-diapause cold storage or an elevated temperature during diapause and 2.00 × 105 ± 6.66 × 104 spores per larva for populations not experiencing stressful conditions during and after diapause. Median lethal times (LT50) ranged from 6 to 19 days, depending on instar and dose level. Sublethal responses of fourth- and fifth-instar larvae inoculated with serial dilutions of spores were estimated by significant linear models. These regressions were negative for pupal weight and adult longevity and positive for development time (duration of instar VI). Inoculations of newly molted sixth-instar larvae produced similar models, although development time was not significantly affected. Insects reared following stress during and after diapause had consistently longer developmental times. The importance of prolonged developmental time on disease expression and insect susceptibility is discussed.
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