Monday, April 25, 2011

Red Bay Ambrosia Beetle Found in North Carolina!

The North Carolina State University Plant Disease and Insect Clinic, in communication with U.S. Department of Agriculture and North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services, has corroborated the presence of red bay ambrosia beetle in North Carolina. This tiny exotic beetle was first detected in North Carolina this March, in Bladen County, by the North Carolina Forest Service.

Red bay ambrosia beetle transmits laurel wilt pathogen.
(Image Michael C. Thomas, Bugwood)

The red bay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus, and the fungus Raffaelea lauricola, together constitute an insect/disease threat.

The beetle transmits the fungus which causes the disease known as laurel wilt. The combination is generally fatal to red bay, which is an important maritime forest species and is also sometimes found in the landscape. The decline of red bay may have secondary implications for some animals and other plant species.

Other plants in the laurel family, including sassafras, are also susceptible to the fungus. This disease complex a serious threat to the avocado industry in Florida.

Symptoms of laurel wilt.
(Images James Johnson, Bugwood)

For more information, click here
More information on Laurel Wilt will be presented in tomorrow's Plants, Pests, and Pathogens elluminate session.