The hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae Annand, is an introduced pest in North America that is native to Asia, and is causing extensive damage to eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis Carriere) and Carolina hemlock (Tsuga caroliniana Englemann) in the eastern United States. We compared two coccinellids imported for biological control of the adelgid: Scymnus ningshanensis Yu et Yao from China and Pseudoscymnus tsugae Sasaji and McClure from Japan. In a laboratory study, we measured the numerical response of each beetle species to a range of prey densities, and in field studies we examined the reproductive success and ability of the coccinellids to reduce populations of the hemlock woolly adelgid. In the laboratory, S. ningshanensis showed a positive numerical response as hemlock woolly adelgid density increased, and P. tsugae showed a density-independent response. In field cages, the presence of S. ningshanensis resulted in negative hemlock woolly adelgid population growth, in contrast to positive growth in both control cages and cages containing P. tsugae. Both our laboratory and field experiments suggest that S. ningshanensis has good potential as a biological control agent of hemlock woolly adelgid.
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Vol. 96 • No. 3