Date of Completion
Dr. Karl Guillard, Dr. Julia Kuzovkina
Field of Study
Master of Science
The Asiatic garden beetle (AGB), Maladera castanea Arrow, is an invasive pest of crops, ornamentals, and turfgrass that has been minimally studied since the 1930s. Experiments were performed in 2011 and 2012 to investigate adult AGB feeding preferences and seasonality in Connecticut, with the goal of supporting informed planting and monitoring decisions. A common garden field experiment involved counting beetles on three cultivars each of basil, beet, carrot, eggplant, kohlrabi, parsnip, hot pepper, sweet pepper, and turnip. A no-choice laboratory experiment produced values of mass and area of leaf disks consumed. This included the same basil, beet, and kohlrabi varieties in 2011, and elderberry, arrowwood viburnum, green ash, red maple, sugar maple, and American sweetgum in 2012. Counts of beetles collected in light traps were performed throughout each field season.
Basil harbored the most AGBs in the field experiment in 2011 and 2012, and was most consumed in the laboratory experiment using edibles in 2012. However, the 2011 laboratory mass data showed that beets were more consumed than kohlrabi, and basil was consumed equally to beets and kohlrabi. In the 2011 field experiment, ‘Mexican Spice’ was preferred over ‘Lemon’ basil. Red maple was significantly more consumed than sugar maple in the laboratory study of ornamentals. In 2012, the first AGB adults were caught on June 20. Peak populations of adult AGBs in Connecticut occurred from mid-July to late August. This study has developed methods and outlined further lines of research on the AGB.
Eckman, Laura E., "Host Plant Feeding Preferences of the Adult Asiatic Garden Beetle, Maladera castanea Arrow (Coleoptera:Scarabaeidae)" (2015). Master's Theses. 714.
Dr. Ana Legrand