Effects of Adult Feeding and Overwintering Conditions on Energy Reserves and Flight Performance of Emerald Ash Borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae)

Dylan A. Tussey, Brian H. Aukema, Anthony M. Charvoz, Robert C. Venette

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3 Scopus citations


Emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), an invasive beetle from Asia, spreads through human-mediated movement and active flight. The effects of adult feeding and overwintering conditions on A. planipennis energy reserves (e.g., lipid, glycogen, and sugars) and flight are poorly understood. We conjectured that the potential energetic demands associated with the production of cryoprotectants might affect dispersal capacity and partially explain slower spread of A. planipennis in Minnesota than in the other states. Two studies sought to measure the effects of adult feeding on lipid content and flight capacity. Adult A. planipennis were fed shamel ash, Fraxinus uhdei Wenzig, leaves for 0-20 d after emergence, and half were flown on a custom flight mill for 24 h, before being frozen for comparative lipid analysis with a control group. The second study compared the effects of adult feeding on energy reserves and flight capacity of A. planipennis that were originally from St. Paul, Minnesota but overwintered in infested logs placed in Grand Rapids, Minnesota (low winter temperature, -34°C) or St. Paul, Minnesota (-26.3°C). Live adults consumed foliage at a constant rate, but lipid content (percentage of fresh mass) did not change with increases in feeding or flight. Adult glycogen content declined with flight and increased only slightly with feeding. Overwintering location affected survival rates but not energy reserves or flight capacity. These results suggest that the flight capacity of A. planipennis is largely determined before emergence, with no differences in energy reserves after cryoprotectant investment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-763
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental entomology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 6 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund project M.L. 2013, Chp. 52, Sec.2, Subd. 06cB as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. We are grateful to George E. Heimpel (University of Minnesota, USA) for his time, lab space, and equipment to help with anthrone and vanillin testing, Paul Castillo (USDA. Forest Service, Northern Research Station, St. Paul, MN) for his help in the field and greenhouses, and to Rachel Coyle (City of St. Paul, MN) for her assistance in obtaining infested wood. This MS thesis research of DT benefited from the constructive comments of Gary Johnson (University of Minnesota).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • Agrilus planipennis
  • cold tolerance
  • dispersal
  • glycogen
  • lipid


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