Redbay Ambrosia Beetle
Redbay Ambrosia Beetle
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 .
Classic example of the redbay tree, a member of the Laurel family and an important native coastal plant species.
Close-up showing the dark, glossy green top and paler grayish undersides of redbay tree leaves.
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.
Leaves and fruit of pondberry, Lindera melissifolia, which is a federally endangered plant and one of our native shrubs vulnerable to laurel wilt.
Leaves and fruit of pondspice (Litsea aestivalis), which is a native shrub vulnerable to laurel wilt.
Sassafras leaves in summer
Fall color of the sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum), one of the members of the laurel family that is susceptible to laurel wilt.
Close-up of sassafras showing three different leaf shapes that often all can be found on the same plant!
Browned leaves of redbay trees indicating that these trees are infected.
Close-up of a redbay showing leaf browning in the upper crown of the tree.
Cross section of redbay showing the tunnels (called "galleries") created by the burrowing beetles.
Close-up showing the brown redbay leaves caused by laurel wilt.
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!
Redbay tree showing the flush of leafy green growth on the lower trunk, which is a good clue that the tree is infected.
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.
Close-up of redbay bark showing the sawdust tubes created when burrowing beetles excavate their tunnels inside the tree.
Aerial traps can be used to catch redbay ambrosia beetles.
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!
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.org. Larva : Andrew Derksen, USDA-APHIS, Bugwood.org. Eggs: Karolynne Griffiths, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org. Redbay 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.org. Pondspice leaves and fruit: James Johnson, Georgia Forestry Commission, Bugwood.org. Sassafras leaves, leaf variations: Chris Evans, University of Illinois, Bugwood.org. Sassafras, fall color: Dow Gardens , Dow Gardens, Bugwood.org. Damaged trees: James Johnson, Georgia Forestry Commission, Bugwood.org. Canopy 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.org. Frass tubes: James Johnson, Georgia Forestry Commission, Bugwood.org. Trap: Andrew Derksen, USDA-APHIS, Bugwood.org.