Fabrication of Polymeric Visual Decoys for the Male Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis)

Drew P. Pulsifer, Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Mahesh S. Narkhede, Michael J. Domingue, Beverly G. Post, Jayant Kumar, Raúl J. Martín-Palma, Thomas C. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Through a bioreplication approach, we have fabricated artificial visual decoys for the invasive species Agrilus planipennis-commonly known as the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The mating behavior of this species involves an overflying EAB male pouncing on an EAB female at rest on an ash leaflet before copulating. The male spots the female on the leaflet by visually detecting the iridescent green color of the female's elytra. As rearing EAB and then deploying dead females as decoys for trapping is both arduous and inconvenient, we decided to fabricate artificial decoys. We used a dead female to make a negative die of nickel and a positive die of epoxy. Decoys were then made by first depositing a quarter-wave-stack Bragg reflector on a polymer sheet and then stamping it with a pair of matched negative and positive dies to take the shape of the upper surface of an EAB female. As nearly 100 artificial decoys were fabricated from just one EAB female, this bioreplication process is industrially scalable. Preliminary results from a field trapping test are indicative of success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Bionic Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biotechnology


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