Daniel Miller

Research Entomologist Insects, Diseases, and Invasive Plants (RWU 4552) USDA Forest Service dmiller03@fs.fed.us

Education

  • Ph.D. and Masters of Pest Mgmt. from Simon Fraser University, Burnaby BC

Professional Experience

I have served 15 years with the Southern Research Station in Athens GA. My previous work experience included 3 years as a private Forest Health Consultant and 5 years as a Research Associate with Phero Tech Inc. in British Columbia.

Research Interests

  1. Chemical ecology of bark and wood boring beetles
  2. Detection and monitoring tools for exotic insects
  3. Management programs for pests of tree orchards and nurseries

Current Research

  1. Trap lures for coneworms. Coneworms cause significant losses of seed in pine seed orchards in the South. Pesticide programs have been developed for coneworms in conjunction with pheromone-base monitoring system. We found a new pheromone component that increased the response of two important species of Dioryctria by >400%.
    • Miller, D.R., J.G. Millar, A. Mangini, C.M. Crowe & G.G. Grant. 2010. (3Z,6Z,9Z,12Z,15Z)-Pentacosapentaene and (11Z)-hexadecenyl acetate: attractant lure blend for Dioryctria amatella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). J. Econ. Entomol. 103: 1216–1221.
    • Miller, D.R., J.G. Millar, G.G. Grant, L. MacDonald & G.L. DeBarr. 2010. (3Z,6Z,9Z,12Z,15Z)-Pentacosapentaene and (9Z,11E)-tetradecadienyl acetate: attractant lure blend for Dioryctria ebeli (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae). J. Entomol. Science 45: 54–57.
  2. Trap lures for pine engravers. Pine engravers (Ips spp.) are the most common bark beetle species in the South, at times killing health pine trees. We evaluated the effects of four common pheromones in trapping studies, finding broad cross-attraction among four species as well as enantiospecific variation in attraction to the pheromone, ipsdienol, by I. avulsus.
    • Allison, J.D., J.L. McKenney, D.R. Miller & M.L. Gimmel. 2012. The role of ipsdienol, ipsenol and cis-verbenol in the chemical ecology of Ips avulsus, I. calligraphus and I. grandicollis (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae). J. Econ. Entomol. 105: 923–929.
    • Miller, D.R., and J.D. Allison. 2011. Variation in enantiospecific attraction of Ips avulsus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) to the pheromone ipsdienol in Georgia. J. Econ. Entomol. 104: 895–900.
  3. Ambrosia beetle lures. Exotic species of ambrosia beetles are significant pests of horticultural nurseries. National programs for detection of exotic bark and ambrosia beetles use traps baited with ethanol and α-pinene. We characterized the responses of beetles to traps baited with ethanol and ethanol plus α-pinene in the South, finding that >90% of ambrosia beetles captured in traps are exotics. We are evaluating issues such as: (1) dose and blend ratios of the two compounds; (2) enantiomeric composition of α-pinene; and (3) various new compounds on trap catches. Recently, we found that conophthorin enhanced catches of some ambrosia beetles to ethanol-baited traps.
    • Miller, D.R. & R.J. Rabaglia. 2009. Ethanol and (–)-α-pinene: attractants for bark and ambrosia beetles in southeastern USA. J. Chem. Ecol. 35: 435–448.
  4. Trap lure for pine sawyers. Larval longhorn wood borers create tunnels in the sapwood and heartwood of coniferous trees, resulting in significant degrade loss to dimensional lumber and plywood. Most countries have a zero-tolerance policy for any presence wood borers in imported lumber. For sawyer beetles such as Monochamus titillator, the policy relates to their ability to vector the pine wilt disease which has devastated forests in Japan and China. An efficient trap lure would aid greatly in monitoring ports-of-departure and ports-of-entry for movement of sawyer beetles. In collaborative trials conducted in 25 locations across Canada and the USA, we found that a quaternary trap blend of ethanol, α-pinene, ipsenol and ipsdienol was highly attractive to six of seven species of Monochamus found in North America. Recently, we found that the generic Monochamus pheromone, monochamol, enhanced catches of six species of Monochamus in traps baited with ipsenol and α-pinene.
    • Miller D.R., K.J. Dodds, A. Eglitis, C.J. Fettig, R.W. Hofstetter, D.W. Langor, A.E. Mayfield III, A.S. Munson, T.M. Poland & K.F. Raffa. 2013. Trap Lure of pine volatiles and bark beetle pheromones for Monochamus spp. (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in pine forests of Canada and the United States. J. Econ. Entomol. 106: 1684–1692.
    • Miller, D.R., C. Asaro, C.M. Crowe & D.A. Duerr. 2011. Bark beetle pheromones and pine volatiles: Attractant kairomones for longhorn beetles (Cerambycidae) in southeastern USA. J. Econ. Entomol. 104: 1245–1257.
  5. Trap lures for hardwood borers. In association with the Jon Sweeney (Canadian Forest Service), we are characterizing the responses of hardwood longhorn beetles to hydroxyketones and hexanediols. We found that ethanol synergizes the responses of many species to various combinations of ketones and diols. The same compounds also attract predators and bark beetles.
  6. Protocols for trapping bark and wood boring beetles. Baited traps are an important tool in the early detection of exotic insects and require research to improve efficiency. We are currently examining such issues as: (1) inter-trap distance; (2) canopy versus ground deployment;
(3) optimal cluster size of traps; (4) optimal lure blends; and (5) trap color and design.
    • Dodds, K., J. Allison, D. Miller, R. Hanavan & J. Sweeney. 2014. Considering species richness and rarity when selecting optimal survey traps: Comparisons of semiochemical baited flight intercept traps for Cerambycidae in eastern North America. Agric. For. Entomol. In Press.
    • Miller D.R., C.M. Crowe, B.F. Barnes, K.J.K. Gandhi & D.A. Duerr. 2013. Attaching lures to multiple-funnel traps targeting saproxylic beetles: Inside or outside funnels? J. Econ. Entomol. 106: 206–214.
    • Miller, D.R. & C.M. Crowe. 2011. Relative performance of Lindgren multiple-funnel, Intercept panel and Colossus pipe traps in catching Cerambycidae and associated species in the southeastern United States. J. Econ. Entomol. 104: 1934–1941.
  7. Detection tools for weevils. Weevils can cause significant mortality of pine seedlings in plantation settings. We found that the combination of ethanol and α-pinene is an effective lure for species of Hylobius and Pachylobius within stands, particularly with short multiple-funnel traps. We plan to examine the effects of additional host odors on trap efficiency and determine if trap catches correlate with risk of seedling mortality after stand harvest. In hardwood seedling orchards, numerous species of weevils cause significant damage to acorns. We plan determine to determine phenologies of key species and develop optimal management programs. In addition, we plan to develop lures for the numerous species of adventive weevils in North America.
    • Miller, D.R. & C.M. Crowe. 2009. Length of multiple-funnel trap affects catches of some bark and wood boring beetles in a slash pine stand in northern Florida. Florida Entomol. 92: 506–507.