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Individual Highlight

Monitoring Tool for the Insect Vector of Thousand Cankers Disease of Walnut

Photo of Snapshot : A newly discovered pheromone can be used to detect the insect vector of thousand cankers disease of walnut. Intermediate and low population density populations can be found enabling early detection and rapid response to this destructive walnut pest complex.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Seybold, Steven J. 
Research Location : PSW Olive Drive Insect Rearing Facility in Davis, CA
Research Station : Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW)
Year : 2011
Highlight ID : 377


A male-produced pheromone from the walnut twig beetle can be used to detect populations of the walnut twig beetle, vector of thousand cankers. The beetle threatens both the California orchard industry and extensive stands of black walnut timber in the eastern U.S. valued at over $500 billion. Led by PSW Research Scientist, Steve Seybold, the team filed a provisional patent application in mid-July, 2011 for the discovery of the attractant pheromone and for several behavioral chemicals that appear to deter the beetle from flying and landing. A key element in the success of the project was the capability of raising the live beetles at the PSW Olive Drive Insect Rearing Facility in Davis and then using the live beetles in laboratory research to trap the potential behavioral chemicals from the headspace around infested walnut branches. The technology is being demonstrated in Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia in July and August of 2011. Early results suggest that the bait will detect the beetle in these areas of intermediate and low population density. For more information on thousand cankers disease, please refer to the Pest Alert at:

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Burnaby, BC, CanadaTennessee Dept. of AgricultureUniversity of California at Davis, Department of EntomologyUSDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection ServiceUSDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture
  • Simon Fraser University, Dept. Biological Sciences

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