Eur. J. Entomol. 111 (4): 594-596, 2014 | 10.14411/eje.2014.061

Discovery of the first European parasitoid of the emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)

Marina J. ORLOVA-BIENKOWSKAJA1, Sergey A. BELOKOBYLSKIJ2
1 A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, 33 Leninskiy Prospect, Moscow 119071, Russia; e-mail: marinaorlben@yandex.ru
2 Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St Petersburg 199034, Russia; Museum and Institute of Zoology Polish Academy of Sciences, Wilcza 64, Warszawa 00-679, Poland; e-mail: doryctes@gmail.com

The emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis, native to Asia is a devastating pest of ash in North America and European Russia. There are several parasitoids of A. planipennis recorded in Asia and North America, but none previously in Europe and European Russia. Eighty two specimens of the ectoparasitoid Spathius polonicus Niezabitowski (Hymenoptera: Braconidae: Doryctinae) (23 adults, 56 larvae and three pupae) were found in the remains of A. planipennis larvae at five localities in Moscow Province in October 2013 - May 2014. S. polonicus is rare but widely distributed and mainly a Western Palaearctic species. It seems that the level of parasitism could be relatively high: in nature, more than 50% of the last instar larvae of A. planipennis examined were killed by S. polonicus. We collected 24 live last instar larvae and prepupae and the remains of 30 last instar larvae of A. planipennis previously parasitized by S. polonicus. S. polonicus may be suitable for the biocontrol of A. planipennis both in Europe and North America, because it is a native of the temperate climate zone. The potential of this parasitoid for biological control needs special investigation.

Keywords: Hymenoptera, Braconidae, Spathius polonicus, Coleoptera, Buprestidae, Agrilus planipennis, parasitoid, biocontrol, emerald ash borer, European Russia, Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Received: April 28, 2014; Accepted: June 2, 2014; Prepublished online: August 13, 2014; Published: October 1, 2014

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