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Northern Research Station
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI 53726
(608) 231-9318
(608) 231-9544 TTY/TDD

Emerald Ash Borer

EAB Relatives and Related Borers

Research Issue

Bob Haack and Peng Chen girdle a study tree in China.

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is just one of hundreds of beetle species in the genus Agrilus that are native to Asia.  Identifying other Asian species of Agrilus that could pose a risk to North American urban and forest trees is important so that these insects can be targeted during cargo inspections at ports as well as during detection surveys around the country.  Similarly, it is important to obtain baseline data on which Asian bark- and wood-boring insects commonly infest trees that are used to produce solid wood packaging materials used in international trade.

 Our Research

We were involved in two international research projects over the past few years that were large team efforts.  One study focused on identifying high-risk relatives of EAB throughout Asia, and the other focused primarily on wood borers of oaks and closely related tree species in Yunnan Province, in southwestern China.  Yunnan was the initial target because of the large number of Agrilus species native to that area.  Field work began in 2011 and was largely completed by 2013.  Identification of the insects collected during the field work has been completed for most of the borers.

Expected Outcomes

The products of this research will aid plant health specialists throughout the world in identifying high-risk Asian relatives of EAB and other associated borers.  Accurate and timely identification of potentially harmful exotic insects will reduce the chances for pest establishment, or if already established, will enhance survey and control efforts.

Research Results

The main product of this team effort was publication of a book in 2015 that serves as an illustrated guide to EAB and 32 other Asian Agrilus species that are closely related to EAB.  For each species a description of the adult beetle is given along with high resolution photos as well as information on the beetle’s biology and geographic distribution.  In the second study, several bark- and wood-infesting insects were reared from artificially-stressed trees in Yunnan and identified.

Chamorro, M. Lourdes; Jendek, Eduard; Haack, Robert A.; Petrice, Toby R.; Woodley, Norman E.; Konstantinov, Alexander S.; Volkovitsh, Mark G.; Yang, Xing-Ke; Grebennikov, Vasily V.; Lingafelter, Steven W. 2015. Illustrated guide to the emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire and related species (Coleoptera, Buprestidae). Pensoft, Sofia, Bulgaria. 198 pp.

Petrice, Toby R.; Haack, Robert A.; Chen, Peng. 2012. Host range studies on Agrilus and other wood borers in Southwest China. Newsletter of the Michigan Entomological Society 57: 25. (abstract)

Research Participants

Principal Investigators

  • Robert Haack, US Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Research Entomologist
  • Toby Petrice, US Forest Service, Northern Research Station, Entomologist
  • M. Lourdes Chamorro, USDA, ARS, c/o Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
  • Peng Chen, Yunnan Academy of Forestry, Kunming, China
  • Vasily V Grebennikov, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Eduard Jendek, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Alexander S Konstantinov, USDA, ARS, c/o Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
  • Steven W Lingafelter, USDA, ARS, c/o Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
  • Mark G Volkovitsh, Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Norman E Woodley, USDA, ARS, c/o Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
  • Xing-Ke Yang, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • Hui Ye, Yunnan University, Kunming, China

Research Partners

Last Modified: 09/16/2015