Redbay Ambrosia Beetle

Image
redbay tree

Redbay Ambrosia Beetle

Scientific Name
Xyleborus glabratus
Redbay Ambrosia Beetle
Image
Laura

The redbay ambrosia beetle attacks plants in the laurel family, including redbay, sassafrass, and avocado, by boring into the wood and bringing with it a wilt-causing fungus .

Laura
Image
RAB
Field Guide
Image
Redbay Ambrosia Beetle
Redbay Ambrosia Beetle
Host Trees: Redbay

Classic example of the redbay tree, a member of the Laurel family and an important native coastal plant species.

Image
Image

Close-up showing the dark, glossy green top and paler grayish undersides of redbay tree leaves.

Image

Leaves and fruit of the redbay tree, which is one of the common hosts of the redbay ambrosia beetle and is susceptible to laurel wilt.

Image
Host Trees: Pondspice & Pondberry

Leaves and fruit of pondberry, Lindera melissifolia, which is a federally endangered plant and one of our native shrubs vulnerable to laurel wilt.

Image
Image

Leaves and fruit of pondspice (Litsea aestivalis), which is a native shrub vulnerable to laurel wilt.

Image
Image
Host Trees: Sassafras

Sassafras leaves in summer

Image
Image

Fall color of the sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum), one of the members of the laurel family that is susceptible to laurel wilt. 

Image

Close-up of sassafras showing three different leaf shapes that often all can be found on the same plant! 

Image
Damage

Browned leaves of redbay trees indicating that these trees are infected. 

Image
Image

Close-up of a redbay showing leaf browning in the upper crown of the tree.

Image

Cross section of redbay showing the tunnels (called "galleries") created by the burrowing beetles.

Image
Signs

Close-up showing the brown redbay leaves caused by laurel wilt.

Image
Image

Close-up of entrance holes created by the redbay ambrosia beetle. These tiny holes are often less than 0.04 inches (1 millimeter) wide, or smaller than the tip of your pencil! 

Image

Redbay tree showing the flush of leafy green growth on the lower trunk, which is a good clue that the tree is infected.

Image
Symptoms

The tiny hole to the left of the finger is the place where the beetle entered the tree. The dark stains in the wood are caused by the laurel wilt fungus that the beetle introduced. 

Image
Image

Close-up of redbay bark showing the sawdust tubes created when burrowing beetles excavate their tunnels inside the tree. 

Image
Image
Redbay Ambrosia Beetle
Control

Aerial traps can be used to catch redbay ambrosia beetles. 

Image
Image

Once laurel wilt is found in an area, all trees must be cut down and left to decompose on site. It is important to never move firewood in order to prevent the spread of beetles to new areas!

Image
Image
Hero Laura

Do you think you've found evidence of redbay ambrosia beetle? Click the "learn more" button below to read about the beetle and to get in touch with the experts. 

Redbay leaves: Albert (Bud) Mayfield, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org.  Beetle: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Flickr.com. Side view, top view: Michael C. Thomas, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org.  Laurel wilt culture: Carrie Lapaire Harmon, Southern Plant Diagnostic Network, Bugwood.orgLarva : Andrew Derksen, USDA-APHIS, Bugwood.orgEggs: Karolynne Griffiths, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.orgRedbay tree, leaf topside and underside: Rebekah D. Wallace, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org.  Redbay leaves and fruit: Franklin Bonner, USFS (ret.),Bugwood.org.  Pondberry leaves and fruit: Jerry A. Payne, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.orgPondspice leaves and fruit: James Johnson, Georgia Forestry Commission, Bugwood.orgSassafras leaves, leaf variations: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.orgSassafras, fall color: Dow Gardens , Dow Gardens, Bugwood.org.  Damaged trees: James Johnson, Georgia Forestry Commission, Bugwood.orgCanopy wilt, aerial beetle trap: Albert (Bud) Mayfield, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org.  Galleries: James Johnson, Georgia Forestry Commission, Bugwood.org.  Holes: Albert (Bud) Mayfield, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org.  Leafy growth: Ronald F. Billings, Texas A&M Forest Service, Bugwood.orgFrass tubes: James Johnson, Georgia Forestry Commission, Bugwood.org.  Trap: Andrew Derksen, USDA-APHIS, Bugwood.org.

 

Sign up for
our newsletter

Sign me up!
The Plant Heroes Team will send you important and helpful newsletters to your email