redbay ambrosia beetle
Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff, 1877

Redbay ambrosia beetle was introduced into the United States from Asia in 2002, most likely in solid wood packing materials, such as crates and pallets. By 2005, it was found to be consistently associated with mortality in an expanded area of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. The range of redbay ambrosia beetle and associated redbay mortality continues to expand in Florida and coastal areas across the Southeast. Potential hosts include all members of the Lauraceae family such as Asian spicebush, yellow litsea, redbay, and sassafras. The threatened and endangered species: pondspice and pondberry are of partiticular concern. The larvae are typical of scolytid beetles and are white, c-shaped, legless grubs with an amber colored head capsule. Adults are minute (1/16 inch), slender, and brown-black in color. Upon emergence, only the females seek a new host. Not much is known about this beetleā€™s life cycle, but it is assumed to be similar to other Xyleborus beetles. Adults tend to attack weakened or recently killed hosts. Attacks are evident by pinhole-sized holes in the bark associated with either pitch flow or light-colored boring dust. Investigation under the bark often reveals galleries. As with other ambrosia beetles, the beetle transmits laurel wilt (Raffaelea lauricola) which serves as a food source for the beetle and also causes infected plants to rapidly wilt and die.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources