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Have you seen the Camphor Shot Borer (Xylosandrus mutilatus)?
Hawaii Early Detection Network Priority Pest for all islands in Hawaii


Camphor Shot Borer
Notice how the adult camphor shot borer's elytra appears shorter than its pronotum. This characteristic helps identify this beetle.
Camphor Shot Borer Adult
A beetle larvae eating its symbiotic 'ambrosia' fungus. Inset image is a beetle egg.
camphor shot borer damage
Camphor shot borer damage. Notice the black stain from the fungi remains in the wood after beetle emergence.
Images: Doug Stone, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org

Identification: The camphor shot borer has not been detected in Hawaii. The camphor shot borer is a Xyleborine ambrosia beetle, which carry and maintain symbiotic 'ambrosia' fungus spores in specialized saclike organs. The beetles deposit the fungus along the walls of the galleries they excavate in wood. The beetle then lays eggs in the fungus and their larvae live off the fungal growth which eventually kills the plant. The beetle is around 3.5 mm long. It is black, with reddish legs and antennae, and has an unusual shape with an elytra which is shorter than the pronotum (see picture).
Impacts: The camphor shot borer can attack a variety of different types of trees, inlcuding crop, landscaping, and native Hawaiian trees. Symptoms of attack include pin-sized holes in the bark that are bleeding or exude a curling frass of wood dust. They usually infest trees or wood materials (like firewood and packing materials) which are under 2 inches in diameter.
Dispersal Mechanism: The Camphor Shot Borer is native to Southeast Asia, but has recently been found in parts of Mississippi and Florida where it is attacking royal poinciana trees (Delonix regia). It is thought that the beetle was accidentally brought to the mainland in wood and is likely to be moved to new locations via infested firewood or other wood materials such as crates or pallets. Female beetles are capable of flight and will travel 1-3 miles in search of a suitable tree. If you see this beetle anywhere in Hawaii- let someone know!

More information about this pest external link


Camphor Shot Borer look-alikes:


Ulex red two-spotted spider mite

Comparison of the camphor shot beetle and the black twig borer
Images: X. mutilatus- Doug Stone, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org, X. compactus- Michael C. Thomas, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org

Black Twig Borer (Xylosandrus compactus):
There are twelve exotic ambrosia beetles now established in Hawaii and on average, at least one new species has been discovered each year in Hawaii since 2001. The black twig borer, which is physically similar to the caphor shot borer, is smaller (1.8 mm vs. >3 mm), is slightly lighter brown in color, and has a elytra which is longer than its pronotum. If you are in doubt, send a picture to the reporting page and we will help you identify it.

Last Updated: Monday January 30 2012. If you have any questions about the Hawaii Early Detection Network contact reportapest-maui@lists.hawaii.edu.
Funding and support for this project was made possible by the Hawai'i Invasive Species Council, the USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry assistance, and University of Hawai'i-Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit.