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1 December 2015 Do Phoretic Mites Influence the Reproductive Success of Ips grandicollis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)?
Jesse A. Pfammatter, Kenneth F. Raffa
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Ips grandicollis (Eichhoff) can be an important pest of plantation trees in the Great Lakes region. Mites commonly occur in phoretic association with this beetle, but little is known about their effects on beetle population dynamics. We assessed the effects of phoretic mites on the reproductive success of I. grandicollis using complementary correlative and manipulative approaches. First, we allowed beetles to colonize Pinus resinosa (Ait) logs from sites across Wisconsin, reared them in a common environment, and related the species identities and abundances of mites with beetle production from each log. We found a positive relationship between I. grandicollis abundance and the presence of five mite species, Histiostoma spp., Dendrolaelaps quadrisetus (Berlese), Iponemus confusus (Lindquist), Trichouropoda australis Hirschmann, and Tarsonemus spp. While the abundance of individual mite species was positively correlated with beetle abundance, assessments of mite community structure did not explain beetle reproduction. Next, we introduced beetles that either had a natural complement of mites or whose mites were mechanically reduced into logs, and compared reproductive success between these beetles. We found no difference in colonization rates or beetle emergence between mite-present and mite-reduced treatments. Collectively, these results suggest a correlative, rather than causal, link between beetle reproductive success and mite incidence and abundances. These mites and beetles likely benefit from mutually suitable environments rather than exerting strong reciprocal impacts. Although mites may have some effects on I. grandicollis reproductive success, they likely play a minimal role compared to factors such as tree quality, beetle predation, and weather.

© The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email:
Jesse A. Pfammatter and Kenneth F. Raffa "Do Phoretic Mites Influence the Reproductive Success of Ips grandicollis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae)?," Environmental Entomology 44(6), 1498-1511, (1 December 2015).
Received: 8 May 2015; Accepted: 14 July 2015; Published: 1 December 2015

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bark beetle
multitrophic interaction
Pinus resinosa
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