Theses and Dissertations



Riggins, John J.

Committee Member

Musser, Fred R.

Committee Member

Layton, M. Blake, Jr.

Committee Member

Clarke, Stephen R.

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Visible MSU only 1 year

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Campus Access Only


Agricultural Life Sciences (Entomology)

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Entomology and Plant Pathology


The southern pine beetle, Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is a prime example of a bark beetle of high ecological and economical importance. As these bark beetles adapt to a changing environment, forest managers must continue to evolve management strategies to improve forest resilience to these pests. Herein, we examined the validity of phenological trap timing cues for the annual spring D. frontalis risk assessment survey and found the traditional use of flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) (Cornaceae) bloom occurred an average of 3 weeks after peak D. frontalis spring flight activity. We also examined the natal host influence on adult beetle host selection to explore a possible explanation for the lower occurrence of D. frontalis infestations in longleaf (Pinus palustris) vs. loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) (both Pineaceae). The laboratory choice tests performed showed no selection preference based on natal host.