Dispersal of warren root collar weevils (COLEOPTERA: Curculionidae) in three types of habitat

Laura A. MacHial, B. Staffan Lindgren, Robin W. Steenweg, Brian H. Aukema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Warren root collar weevil, Hylobius warreni Wood, is a native, flightless insect distributed throughout the boreal forest of North America. It is an emerging problem in young plantings of lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta variety latifolia, in western Canada, where larval feeding can kill young trees by girdling the root collar. Susceptible plantings are becoming more abundant following salvage harvesting and replanting activities in the wake of an ongoing epidemic of mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae (Hopkins). Previous studies using mark-trap-recapture methods found that movement rates of adult H. warreni were elevated in areas with high numbers of dead trees, consistent with a hypothesis that the insects immigrate from stands with high mountain pine beetle-caused tree mortality to young plantings in search of live hosts. Sampling methods were necessarily biased to insects captured in traps; however, potentially missing individuals that had died, left the study area, or simply remained stationary. Here, we used harmonic radar to examine weevil movement in three different habitats: open field, forest edge, and within a forest. We were able to reliably monitor all but two of 36 insects initially released, over 96 h (4 d). Weevils released in the open field had the highest rates of movement, followed by weevils released at the forest edge, then weevils released within the forest. Movement declined with decreasing ambient air temperature. Our results suggest that weevils tend to be relatively stationary in areas of live hosts, and hence may concentrate in a suitable area once such habitat is found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-586
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental entomology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2012


  • Hylobius warreni
  • dispersal
  • harmonic radar
  • movement
  • sampling


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