Information for Volunteers

Cerceris fumipennis, a native non-stinging wasp, can help entomologists with early detection of the destructive exotic emerald ash borer. This ground-dwelling wasp provisions its nests with buprestid beetles, including emerald ash borer when present. The Maine Forest Service is currently looking for colonies of this wasp and invites members of the public to help.

Cerceris should be active throughout most of Maine during July and August. The best time to search for it is between 10 am and 4 pm on a warm sunny day when the wasp is actively hunting. However, the nests can be seen at any time except immediately after a heavy rainfall.

Information on how to find and identify Cerceris wasps and nests can be found here. A printable version for use in the field is also available.

Use the online form to report any nests found, or print and mail this form. Please also fill it out if you search suitable sites and DO NOT find nests. Maine may be at the northern edge of this wasp's range, so it is very important to know where it is NOT found.

If you think others may have concerns about you searching for Cerceris in public or heavily used places, please contact me (see information below) and the Maine Forest Service can supply you with a letter explaining this project.

Wasp Watchers

For those who are 'adopting' a colony and monitoring it during the summer of '09 (or for those who are just interested), here are the directions for monitoring your colony. Current volunteers, ranging from city arborists to Girl Scout troops, are helping us watch for Emerald Ash Borer.

If you would like to look at a colony near you and see what the wasps look like, here is Google Earth map file showing the locations of several colonies.  (Download Google Earth) Click on a green diamond to see details and zoom in on a given colony.  Most of these colonies are on public playing fields, so please be respectful of other users.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact:

Colleen Teerling
Maine Forest Service Insect and Disease Lab
168 State House Station - 50 Hospital Street
Augusta, ME 04333

(207) 287-3096