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Complex emergence patterns in a bark beetle predator

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1 The emergence pattern of Thanasimus dubius (F.) (Coleoptera: Cleridae), a common predator of the southern pine beetle, Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann (Coleoptera: Scolytidae), was studied under field conditions across different seasons. A simple statistical model was then developed to characterize the emergence data, using the truncated geometric distribution. Data are also presented on the mortality of T. dubius eggs at various temperatures and humidities in an effort to explain certain aspects of emergence behaviour.

2 Emergence of T. dubius from a given tree usually occurred in several discrete episodes across a two-year period, with most individuals emerging in spring or autumn. Almost no emergence occurred in July and August, which may be an adaptation to avoid high temperature mortality. Emergence patterns appeared similar across seasons, with the time of year serving mainly to shift the pattern through time.

3 Cycles in D. frontalis abundance may be the result of delayed density dependence generated by its natural enemy complex. The predator T. dubius is likely to be an important component of this delayed density dependence, because of its lengthy development time and apparent impact on D. frontalis.

Keywords: Bark beetles; Dendroctonus frontalis; Thanasimus dubius; diapause; predators

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service and Shreveport Highway, 2500, Pineville, LA 71360, U.S.A.

Publication date: November 1, 2000

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