Determination of temperature requirements for many economically important insects is a cornerstone of pest management. For bark beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae), this information can facilitate timing of management strategies. Our goals were to determine temperature predictors for flight initiation of three species of Ips bark beetles, five species of Dendroctonus bark beetles, and two genera of bark beetle predators, Enoclerus spp. (Coleoptera: Cleridae) and Temnochila chlorodia (Mannerheim) (Coleoptera: Ostomidae), in ponderosa pine forests of northcentral Arizona. We quantified beetle flight activity using data loggers and pheromone-baited funnel traps at 18 sites over 4 yr. Ambient air temperature was monitored using temperature data loggers located in close proximity to funnel traps. We analyzed degree-day accumulation and differences between minimum, average, and maximum ambient temperature for the week before and week of first beetle capture to calculate flight temperature thresholds. Degree-day accumulation was not a good predictor for initiation of beetle flight. For all species analyzed other than D. adjunctus Blandford, beetles were captured in traps only when springtime temperatures exceeded 15.0°C. D. adjunctus was collected when maximum temperatures reached only 14.5°C. Once initial flights had begun, beetles were often captured when maximum ambient air temperatures were below initial threshold temperatures. Maximum and average air temperatures were a better predictor for beetle flight initiation than minimum temperature. We establish a temperature range for effective monitoring of bark beetles and their predators, and we discuss the implications of our results under climate change scenarios.
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