Eastern hemlock in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is currently threatened by the hemlock woolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae Annand (Hemiptera: Adelgidae). As part of a management plan against this invasive insect pest, about 350,000 adults of the predatory beetle Sasajiscymnus tsugae (Sasaji and McClure) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) were released at ca. 150 sites in the Park from 2002 to 2007. Of these adult release sites, 33 were sampled in 2008 and 2009 using beatsheet sampling for 4 man-hours. Sasajiscymnus tsugae adults (n=78) and/or larvae (n=145) were recovered from seven sites (21.2% of the release sites sampled). Recovery of S. tsugae was significantly associated with older release sites, with the most beetles recovered from 2002 release sites. These results indicate that S. tsugae may require more time (i.e., 5 to7 years) than anticipated for population densities to reach readily detectable levels in some areas.
- Sasajiscymnus tsugae,
- biological control,
- Adelges tsugae,
- predator recovery,
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park,
- Tsuga canadensis
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