Life Cycle, Development, and Culture of Xyleborus glabratus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae)

Gurpreet S. Brar, John L. Capinera, Paul E. Kendra, Stephen McLean, Jorge E. Peña


The redbay ambrosia beetle, Xyleborus glabratus Eichhoff (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), is a wood-boring pest that transmits the fungal pathogen Raffaelea lauricola, the causal agent of laurel wilt disease in American Lauraceae. This study documents the gallery formation patterns of X. glabratus as well as its life cycle and development at 25 ± 2 °C in logs of 3 natural hosts: avocado (Persea americana), redbay (P. borbonia) and swampbay (P. palustris). Females were observed to excavate galleries perpendicular to the tree trunk; galleries were characterized by a main entrance tunnel, from which branched secondary tunnels that, in turn, gave rise to tertiary tunnels. By dissecting infested logs daily, the length of time was determined for each developmental stage, and found to be comparable in all 3 hosts. Eggs were first encountered in avocado, redbay, and swampbay at 7, 11, and 10 days after gallery initiation (agi), respectively; larvae at 14, 20, and 14 days agi; pupae at 24, 26, and 26 days agi; and teneral adults at 31, 30, and 27 days agi. Despite comparable rates of development in all hosts, there were fewer progeny per female produced in avocado. Oviposition by the founding female extended over a broad time-span, and all stages were observed in the gallery at 1 month agi. Three larval instars were present, with mean head capsule widths of 0.21, 0.26, and 0.37 mm, respectively. Long term rearing of X. glabratus was achieved on swampbay logs soaked in water prior to infestation. Emergence of new females from logs was first observed at 60 d agi, indicating that teneral adults remain in hosts for 1 month prior to dispersal. Emergence continued for up to 240 days, with maximum emergence observed between 120–150 days agi.

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