Cool Science: SEM of the Emerald Ash Borer Insect



Chuck Mooney used the Hitachi S-3200N to collect SEM images of the Emerald ash borer, a green buprestid or jewel beetle native to north-eastern Asia that feeds on ash specis. The samples were coated with about 35nm of Au/Pd for conductivity. Several individuals were mounted on a sample holder and the stage manipulated to point them in the correct direction.

This short (less than 3 minute) video (title: “Larval emerald ash borer feeding dynamics”) shows how emerald ash borer beetles feed on phloem tissue of host plants (ash trees) using extra-oral digestion. You can see the fluids and ingested particles moving all the way through the insect’s transparent digestive system!

*Producers: Allen Carson Cohen, Katie (Katharine) Youngs, Kelly F. Oten, Ben Slager, Hannah Nadel, and Charles Mooney