Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire) is an invasive primary pest of North American ash (Fraxinus spp.) trees. Blue ash (F. quadrangulata) is less susceptible to emerald ash borer infestations in the forest than other species of North American ash. Whereas other studies have examined adult host preferences, we compared the capacity of emerald ash borer larvae reared from emerald ash borer eggs in the field and in the laboratory to survive and grow in blue ash and the more susceptible green ash (F. pennsylvanica). Emerald ash borer larval survivorship was the same on both ash species. Mortality due to wound periderm formation was only observed in living field grown trees, but was low (<4%) in both green and blue ash. No difference in larval mortality in the absence of natural enemies suggests that both green and blue ash can support the development of emerald ash borer. Larvae reared from eggs on blue ash were smaller than on green ash growing in the field and also in bolts that were infested under laboratory conditions. In a laboratory study, parasitism rates of confined Tetrastichus planipennisi were similar on emerald ash borer larvae reared in blue and green ash bolts, as were fitness measures of the parasitoid including brood size, sex ratio, and adult female size. Thus, we postulate that emerald ash borer larvae infesting blue ash could support populations of T. planipennisi and serve as a potential reservoir for this introduced natural enemy after most of the other native ash trees have been killed.
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Vol. 44 • No. 6