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Feeding behaviour of the black pine beetle, Hylastes ater (Coleoptera: Scolytidae)

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1 The feeding behaviour of Hylastes ater was investigated at 15 °C and 20 °C on a range of tree species. The role of an aggregation pheromone and the part played by olfactory cues in food selection was also investigated.

2 A distinct hierarchical preference at both 15 °C and 20 °C such that Pinus radiata > Pinus sylvestris > > Picea abies > > Rubus fruticosus=Betula pendula was shown.

3 Feeding on P. sylvestris led to the highest weight gain, closely followed by P. radiata and P. abies. Slightly elevated feeding was observed at 20 °C compared with 15 °C.

4 Reduced feeding in the presence of B. pendula suggests the possibility of an antifeedant effect and predamaged wood was found to be less nutritious, possibly due to greater plant defences.

5 The role of an aggregation pheromone was not supported. Olfactory cues enabled the detection of woody hosts, although differentiation between host was not observed.

6 These results are likely to be important in helping to design an effective integrated control approach against this pest.
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Keywords: Black pine beetle; Hylastes ater; Pinus sylvestris; feeding preferences; olfactometer

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-05-01

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