We evaluated elm leaf beetle, Pyrhalta luteola (Müller) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), defoliation of 32 elm species or hybrids (taxa) established under field conditions in Holbrook, AZ. Percentage of defoliation, number of eggs, and number of larvae were estimated on randomly selected 15-cm shoot lengths annually in July, from 1996 to 2001. The following nine taxa consistently sustained 15–46% mean overall defoliation: 1) Siberian elm, U. pumila L.; 2) ‘Dropmore’ elm, U. pumila; 3) ‘Camperdownii’ elm, U. glabra Huds.; 4) ‘Regal’ elm, U. glabra × U. carpinifolia Gledisch × U. pumila); 5) ‘Sapporo Autumn Gold’ elm (U. pumila × U. japonica Sang.); 6) ‘New Horizon’ elm (U. pumila × U. japonica); 7) ‘Charisma’ elm [(U. japonica × U. wilsoniana Schneid.) × (U. japonica × U. pumila)]; 8) ‘W2115-1′ elm (U. parvifolia Jacq. × U. procera Salisb.); and 9) ‘Homestead’ elm [(U. hollandica Mill. × U. carpinifolia) × (U. pumila-racemosa Dieck × U. carpinifolia)]. Percentage of defoliation was significantly low on four Chinese elm (U. parvifolia) cultivars (‘Allee’, ‘Athena’, ‘Glory’/lace bark, and ‘Kings Choice’). Percentage of defoliation was also low on seven Asian elms (including U. chemnoui Cheng, U. bergmaniana Sneid., U. szechuanica Fang, and species of the U. davidiana Planch. complex [U. davidiana, U. japonica, U. wilsoniana, and U. propinqua Koidz.]) and the American elm (U. americana L.) ‘Valley Forge’. Percentage of defoliation and the number of eggs or larvae per plant were highly correlated. The results of this study are generally consistent with results of past laboratory screening trials.
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