We examined landing patterns of phloeophagous and xylophagous Coleoptera among trees and snags of different physiological and decay states in a pure open-canopy black spruce stand in boreal Canada to study prelanding host selection mechanisms in the absence of nonhost volatiles. Sticky traps were used to capture insects landing on high- and low-density natural snags (i.e., wood density), girdled trees, living trees, and stovepipe controls. Patterns were generally weak, with high within-group variability in species composition and landing rates. Within-group variability differed between groups, with highest variations in living trees and recent snags. Despite this evidence of frequent landing on suboptimal or inappropriate hosts, affinities were detected in most common taxa. Cerambycidae showed preferences for girdled trees. Common species of Scolytinae showed divergent preferences, because Crypturgus borealis Swaine and Dryocoetes autographus (Ratzeburg) were captured more often on high-density natural snags, Polygraphus rufipennis (Kirby) on girdled trees, and Orthotomicus latidens (LeConte) on living trees. These observed landing patterns are broadly consistent with current knowledge on the ecology of these species. Although preferences, and thus prelanding assessment of hosts based on volatiles, were detected in several species, the numerous landings observed on inappropriate hosts suggest that random landing at close range may be as common in pure stands as what was previously observed in mixed stands.
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