redbay ambrosia beetle

Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff, 1877

Xyleborus glabratus is native to India, Japan, Myanmar, and Taiwan.
Life Cycle
Xyleborus glabratus adults are small, 0.08 in. (2 mm) long, slender, cylindrical, and brown-black in color. It is very similar to other members of the genus but the combination of its coloration, glabrous elytra, and abrupt declivity distinguishes it from other species (Mayfield and Thomas 2006). The larvae are white, c-shaped, legless grubs with an amber colored head capsule (Rabaglia 2005). A specialist should be consulted for positive identification of adults and larvae due to their similarity to other species. Adult females construct galleries in the sapwood and inoculate the galleries with a fungus (Ophiostoma sp., vascular wilt pathogen) (Mayfield and Thomas 2006, Rabaglia 2005). The adults and larvae feed on fungi and not on the wood of the damaged host plant. Females are believed to be able to fly 2-3 km in search of a host (Rabaglia 2005). Males are dwarfed, haploid, and flightless and are rarely encountered (Rabaglia 2005). Very little is known about the life cycle and biology of Xyleborus glabratus, but it is assumed to be similar to other species in the genus (Mayfield and Thomas 2006). Most of the life cycle takes place within the galleries, where beetles mate, lay eggs, and young develop.
Xyleborus glabratus was first discovered in Georgia in 2002. It has spread to infect redbay and sassafras trees along coastal areas of Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.
Control Efforts
Never transport any part of an infected tree. Cut and chip the infected tree and leave it onsite or at least dispose of it locally. The Don’t Move Firewood campaign is aimed at slowing down the spread of this and other forests pests.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources

Pest Alert - Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Pest Reports - EXFOR Database - US Forest Service
Website - USDA Forest Service Southern Region