Hawaii students study beetles related to rapid ohia death

Hawaii students study beetles related to rapid ohia death
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - Scientists are teaming up with students to better study ambrosia beetles, a potential transmitter of the tree-killing disease called rapid ohia death.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Sunday that Kenneth Puliafico, a volunteer with the U.S. Forest Service, said the project is an example of citizen science.

Puliafico said students at Volcano School of Arts and Sciences collected beetles at home the past week using homemade traps. Students then brought their traps back to school and examined the contents under a microscope - helping researchers get a snapshot of which of the 52 ambrosia beetle species in Hawaii occur in which parts of the island.

Puliafico said the students hail from a wide geographic area, from "Discovery Harbor to lower Puna to everywhere in between."

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