- Author: Richard Stouthamer
The recent find of the Kuroshio shot-hole borer in Santa Barbara shows that the beetle is expanding up the coast and it comes on top of the finding earlier this year of a single Kuroshio shot-hole borer in San Luis Obispo. Earlier yet in 2014 a single beetle identified as Euwallacea fornicatus was found by the CDFA monitoring in Santa Cruz county, unfortunately this specimen was only identified using morphological characters and therefore we do not know which of the three cryptic species of the Euwallacea fornicatus species complex we are dealing with for that particular find. After the single find (2016) in San Luis Obispo a several additional traps were placed in the vicinity of the first find but no additional beetles have been caught. In a single location in Irvine KSHB has also been detected last year (2015). Recently, the Kuroshio Shot-hole borer has also been reported in Tijuana Mexico, which is not surprising since the heavily infested Tijuana river valley park in San Diego county is less than 0.6 miles from the border with Tijuana. It is clear from these detections that the KSHB is on the move, just like the PSHB. These long distance moves by the beetles are most likely caused by human transport, and the most likely culprit is wood transported after trees have been cut down or trimmed. Both in San Luis Obispo and the location in Santa Cruz no additional finds have been reported, often the density of insects following an invasion of a new area remains low while the population is expanding and followed by it reaching such levels that they are “suddenly” detected in many locations.