Scymnus (Neopullus) camptodromus Yu and Liu (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) was brought to the United States from China as a potential biological control agent for hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae Annand) (Hemiptera: Adelgidae). Scymnus camptodromus phenology is closely synchronized with that of A. tsugae and has several characteristics of a promising biological control agent. As a prerequisite to field release, S. camptodromus was evaluated for potential nontarget impacts. In host range studies, the predator was given the choice of sympatric adelgid and nonadelgid prey items. Nontarget testing showed that S. camptodromus will feed to some degree on other adelgid species, but highly prefers A. tsugae. We also evaluated larval development of S. camptodromus on pine bark adelgid (Pineus strobi (Hartig)) (Hemiptera: Adelgidae) and larch adelgid (Adelges laricis Vallot) (Hemiptera: Adelgidae); a small proportion of predator larvae was able to develop to adulthood on P. strobi or A. laricis alone. Scymnus camptodromus showed no interest in feeding on woolly alder aphid (Paraprociphilus tessellatus Fitch) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) or woolly apple aphid (Eriosoma lanigerum (Hausmann)) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), and minimal interest in cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii Glover) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) in choice and no-choice experiments. Scymnus camptodromus females did not oviposit on any host material other than A. tsugae-infested hemlock. Under the circumstances of the study, S. camptodromus appears to be a specific predator of A. tsugae, with minimal risk to nontarget species. Although the predator can develop on P. strobi, the likelihood that S. camptodromus would oviposit on pine hosts of this adelgid is small.
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Vol. 45 • No. 1