Beetles Save Needles: Purple Haze Talk & Tour

Want to learn how a UV light purchased at Archie McPhee led to an important scientific discovery? Then head over to the Washington Park Arboretum on Wednesday, March 23, for a lecture and walking tour from 7 to 8:30 p.m.: “Beetles Save Needles: Purple Haze Talk & Tour.”

2016_03_Beetles Save NeedlesLeading the program will be Dr. Richard McDonald (a.k.a. Dr. McBug), who will tell the story of the discovery that ultraviolet-A light could be used to detect predators of the hemlock wooly adelgid. Drawing from research presented in the Journal of Entomological Science (Vol. 49, No. 2. 2014), McDonald will highlight his work in the Washington Park Arboretum and lead a night hike to see the technology in action.

Researchers have found that predatory beetles native to the Pacific Northwest play an important role in regulating populations of hemlock wooly adelgid pest populations. These predators are now being introduced to the hemlock forests of the eastern United States, and they are playing a significant role in reducing damage caused by the exotic adelgid pests. This ultraviolet detection has been an important discovery in the detection and identification of the predators.

The talk is free and open to the public, but please re-register to help organizers anticipate numbers! Questions? Call 206.685.2590 or email