Flight status of invasive European Elateridae in southwestern British Columbia
Kabaluk T, Douglas H, van Herk W (2018) Flight status of invasive European Elateridae in southwestern British Columbia. 58th Western Committee on crop pests. Loydminster AB. Oral presentation.
Plain language summary
A report on the initial stages of investigation into the phenomenon of flying adults of non-native Agriotes lineatus wireworms. These flying adults can disperse more rapidly into uninfested lands. The talk informs readers of our efforts to search for a genetic basis for the occurrence of this behaviour in some populations.
Related pest species Agriotes obscurus, the dusky wireworm, also shows some variability in the frequency of flight behaviour.
Abstract: Agriotes lineatus click beetles (adults of pestilent wireworms) have been reported to fly en
masse on Vancouver Island, while minimally or not at all in other geographic locations in southwestern
BC. Flying beetles might be a genetically unique ecotype, or caused by climatic factors - possibly those
associated with climate change. Crawling and flying A. lineatus and A. obscurus were trapped during the
spring 2018, revealing significant differences in flight status among geographic locations for both species.
Problem: In southwestern BC, two invasive click beetle species, Agriotes lineatus and A. obscurus,
produce wireworm larvae that are seriously pestilent to agricultural crops. Behavioural/developmental
aberrations of A. lineatus on Vancouver Island have been noted: their presence in autumn and their en
masse flight during the warmest days in late April/early May (Kabaluk 2016) – traits that have not been
noticed on the mainland. Both of these traits can have serious implications for pest spread. The
comparative degree to which beetles fly among geographic locations in southwestern BC have remained
Objectives of Research: The objectives were to i) determine the degree to which A. lineatus and A.
obscurus click beetles fly at selected geographic locations in southwestern BC over a 5-week period in
late April/early May; and ii) determine if differences in flight status among locations is genetically and/or