Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Forestry and Environmental Conservation

Committee Chair/Advisor

David Coyle

Committee Member

Kelly Oten

Committee Member

Brandon Peoples


The Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis Motschulsky, hereafter ALB) was named one of the world’s top 100 worst invasive species by the Global Invasive Species Database, as it threatens several species of hardwood trees in North America. In May of 2020, the southernmost infestation of ALB in North America was discovered near Hollywood, South Carolina, U.S.A. Current eradication efforts focus on tree removal; however, in ecosystems with rugged or flooded terrain, or otherwise inaccessible and vulnerable natural areas, tree removal is a costly and potentially environmentally damaging endeavor that may not be feasible as a management tactic. In these situations, biological control may be an economically and ecologically advantageous management strategy in the ongoing efforts to eradicate ALB. Three methods were used to determine rates of parasitization from naturally occurring parasitoids on ALB larvae: infested material collection, sentinel log deployment, and releases of a native parasitoid, Ontsira mellipes Ashmead. Very low natural parasitization rates occurred. In fact, no ALB larvae were parasitized by native parasitoids out of the 224 ALB larvae extracted from infested material and sentinel logs. After O. mellipes releases, 2 out of 56 ALB larvae were confirmed to be parasitized by the wasp. This represents the first field validation of O. mellipes as a potential ALB biocontrol agent. Overall, natural populations of parasitoids do not appear to be sufficient for management of ALB in South Carolina, though targeted field releases of O. mellipes may have potential as a supplemental management tactic.



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