There are several flatheaded boring beetles in California, however only a few are of particular concern. The goldspotted oak borer (GSOB), Agrilus auroguttatus, is a metallic wood-boring beetle that threatens our native trees. Since it was introduced to Southern California on contaminated firewood in the early 2000s, this pest has caused extensive damage to woodlands and native oaks.
What does the goldspotted oak borer look like?
Adult GSOB are 0.4 inch long and 0.08 inch wide with bullet-shaped bodies. They are black with an iridescent green sheen and six distinct gold spots on their back.
What damage does the goldspotted oak borer cause?
[Originally published in the Fall 2018 issue of the Green Bulletin. Modified slightly from original.]
Invasive insects and diseases are threatening numerous tree species throughout the country. Impacts include tree mortality, destruction of forest and urban habitats, and other significant changes in forest ecosystems due to the decline or elimination of tree species. Many of these pests can be transported in inadequately-processed wood, including firewood and discarded wood debris left behind from tree care operations (Figure 1). Preventing the spread of these pests to new areas is critical for.../span>
Shot hole borers are tiny insects the size of a sesame seed that don't look particularly harmful, but don't let their diminutive size fool you. Two of these borers are invasive—the polyphagous shot hole borer and the Kuroshio shot hole borer. They carry pathogens and are spreading them throughout southern California. Together, the borers and the fungi are a deadly combination that are killing many trees. Trees affected include avocado, sycamore, white alder, box elder, cottonwood, and willow.
The two shot hole borers are nearly identical in appearance, and both have a symbiotic relationship with several pathogenic fungi. The female borers lay eggs which introduces fungi into trees. The fungi grow and provide food for...
[From the December 2016 issue of the UC IPM Green Bulletin]
The Polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB) (Fig. 1) and Kuroshio shot hole borer (KSHB) are invasive wood-boring beetles that attack dozens of tree species in Southern California, including commercial avocado groves, common landscape trees, and native species in urban and wildland environments. Both beetles spread a disease called Fusarium Dieback (FD), which is caused by pathogenic fungi. Trees that are FD-susceptible may experience branch dieback, canopy loss, and tree mortality (Fig..../span>
Today's post for National Invasive Species Week highlights two ambrosia beetles that are detrimental to certain trees. Ambrosia beetles are highly specialized beetles that excavate tunnels in usually weakened or dead trees and cultivate fungal gardens, which they feed upon. Below are two such invasive beetle-fungal complexes that are currently impacting trees and forests in California.
Walnut twig beetle and thousand cankers disease. Walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis, is a tiny bark beetle that attacks only walnut trees. The beetle has been in California for many decades but recently became associated with a new fungus, Geosmithia morbida. The fungus kills the phloem and cambium of...