Tomicus piniperda (L.), a Eurasian scolytid first discovered in North America in 1992, is established in at least 12 north central and northeastern states and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The expanding range of T. piniperda, its ability to develop and shoot-feed in most North American pine species, and its relatively early spring activity have generated questions about its potential interactions with native competitors and natural enemies. Our objectives were to compare phenology of T. piniperda with native phloem-feeding insects and to evaluate phenological synchrony between T. piniperda and native predators in red pine forest stands. We monitored adult beetle activity using baited funnel traps and observations of insect activity on freshly cut red pine logs in four to eight stands in southwestern and northern lower Michigan during two field seasons. Logs were periodically returned to the laboratory and individually caged. Phloem-feeders, predators and parasitoids emerging from logs were identified. Tomicus piniperda was collected only in southwestern stands and was consistently the first scolytid collected in funnel traps. Ten native phloem-feeding species were collected in funnel traps or reared from logs; at least two native species were actively colonizing logs concommitently with T. piniperda in early spring. We observed adults of the predatory clerid Thanasimus dubius (F.) actively moving on logs and preying on T. piniperda adults and other scolytids early in spring, roughly 3–4 wk before this species was first collected in funnel traps. Other native scolytid predators including Cucujus clavipes F. and three staphylinids were also active early in spring. Results suggests that T. piniperda is likely to encounter interspecific competitors and natural enemies in North America, but further research will be needed to demonstrate how these interactions affect T. piniperda population dynamics.
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