Claire E. Rutledge

image of Claire Rutledge

Department of Entomology
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
123 Huntington Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Voice: (203) 974-8484 Fax: (203) 974-8502

My research specialty is wood-boring insects. My major areas of expertise are mating behavior and chemical ecology, tri-trophic interactions, and predator and parasitoid behavior.


B.A. in Biology, Oberlin College 1989
M.S. in Entomology, University of Illinois 1994
Ph.D. in Entomology, University of Illinois 1998


Station career:

Assistant Agricultural Scientist 2004-2015
Associate Agricultural Scientist 2015-present


Past research:

My pest research has focused on understanding the interactions between plants, their herbivores and the natural enemies which attack the herbivores in a range of systems. One series of studies focused on the role of host plants in defining the range of caterpillars attacked by an imported parasitoid wasp. In another research initiative, I examined the impact of the plant surface, on the ability of ladybeetles to effectively hunt for pea aphids. Finally, I found that for soybean aphids, a recent invasive, the interaction of plant age and the timing of aphid arrival each year influences the ability of an indigenous predator to suppress aphid populations to economically sustainable population levels.


Current research:
I am currently working with wood-boring beetles with a focus on invasive members of the Buprestidae and Cerambycidae. Buprestidae: Emerald ash borer is a devastating invasive pest of ash which was detected in Connecticut in July 2010. Emerald ash borer is closely related to the native buprestid, Bronze Birch Borer which can be an outbreak pest during periods of birch decline.  I have been comparing the mating behavior and ecology of the two insects. I am also exploring the natural enemies of bonze birch borer, both to understand what the existing community looks like prior to the introduction of biological control agents for emerald ash borer, and to look for potential control agents for emerald ash borer.  Another major research area is in the use of a native solitary digger wasp, Cerceris fumipennis as a detection tool for emerald ash borer and other invasive buprestid beetles. We have done work on their overwintering physiology and prey choice mechanisms, as well as establishing an active survey program, which incorporates citizen-scientists (the Wasp Watchers).

Cerambycidae: The Small Japanese Cedar Borer is an invasive longhorned beetle from Japan. The pheromones involved in both mating and habitat location, are under study.


Selected publications available from the author,

  • Rutledge, C. E., Keena, M. A. (2012). Mating frequency and fecundity in the Emerald Ash Borer Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). Ann. Entom. Soc. Am., 105(1), 66-72.
  • Rutledge C. E., Hellman, W., Teerling, C., Fierke, M. K. (2011). Two novel prey families for the buprestid-hunting wasp Cerceris fumipennis Say (Hymenoptera: Crabronidae). Coleopterists Bulletin, 65(2), 194-196.
  • Rutledge, C. E., Millar, J. G., Romero, C. M., Hanks, L. M. (2009). Identification of an important component of the contact sex pheromone of Callidiellum rufipenne (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Environ. Entomol. 38(4), 1267-1275.
  • Rutledge, C. E., Eigenbrode, S. D., Ding, H. (2008). A plant surface mutation mediates predator interference among ladybird larvae. Ecol. Entomol., 33464–472.
  • Rutledge, C. E., Young, D. K. (2007). First report of an attractant for a tumbling flower beetle (Coleoptera: Mordellidae). Environ. Entomol., 36(4), 894-898.
  • Rutledge, C. E., O’Neil, R. J. (2006). Soybean plant stage and population growth of soybean aphid. J. Econ. Entom., 99(1), 60-66.
  • Rutledge, C. E. (2005). First record of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Aphididae) in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Great Lakes Entomol., 37(3-4), 99-2001.
  • Rutledge, C. E., O’Neil, R. J. (2005). Orius insidiosus (Say) as a predator of the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura. Biological Control, 33(1), 56-64.
  • Heimpel, G. E., Ragsdale, D. W., Venette, R., Hopper, K. R., O’Neil, R. J., Rutledge, C. E. and Z. Wu. (2004). Prospects for importation biological control of the soybean aphid: anticipating potential costs and benefits. Ann. Entom. Soc. Am., 97, 249-258.
  • Rutledge, C. E., O’Neil, R. J., Fox, T. B. and D.A. Landis. (2004). Soybean aphid predators and their use in IPM. Ann. Entom. Soc. Am., 97, 240-248.
  • Rutledge, C. E. and S. D. Eigenbrode. (2003). Plant epicuticular wax decreases instantaneous search rate of Hippodamia convergens larvae on peas and reduces their attachment to leaf surfaces. The Canadian Entomologist, 135, 1-9.
  • Rutledge, C. E., Robinson, A. P. and S. D. Eigenbrode. (2003). Effects of a simple plant morphological mutation on the arthropod community and the impacts of predators on a principal insect herbivore. Oecologia, 135, 39-50.
  • Rutledge, C. E. and R. N. Wiedenmann. (1999). Habitat preferences of the Cotesia flavipes complex (Hym.: Braconidae): Implications for host-range testing in biological control. Biological Control, 16, 144-154.
  • Rutledge, C. E. (1996). A survey of identified kairomones and synomones used by insect parasitoids. Chemoecology, 7, 121-131.
  • Zangerl, A. R. and C. E. Rutledge. (1996). Probability of attack and patterns of constitutive and induced defense: a test of optimal defense theory. Amer. Nat.147(4), 599-608.