Contents: By Damage and Image
Pear blight borer
The pear blight beetle (also known as European shot-hole borer), Anisandrus (= Xyleborus) dispar, lives up to one of its names leaving trees with small diameter holes resembling tiny shot holes. An investigation of borer activity in Oregon nurseries indicated that this species of ambrosia beetle is active in various sites in the Willamette Valley. We've identified this borer in damage from container and field production sites. Click the hyperlink below to see a very informative website regarding this beetle.
Identification aid is available at the Anisandrus link at the Bark Beetles of the United States website.
The beetle has a large host range. Hosts include: Acer, Aesculus, Alnus, Betula, Castanea, Celtis, Crataegus, Corylus, Cydonia, Fagus, Fraxinus, Juglans, Liriodendron, Magnolia, Malus, Platanus, Populus, Prunus, Punica, Pyrus, Quercus, Salix, Styrax,Tilia, Ulmus, and Vitis (Additional hosts can be found in the Plantwise Pear Blight Beetle webpage). There are also reports from Pinus, Cedrus, and Tsuga.
The European shot hole borer overwinters as adults. It is not uncommon to find the rear end of the beetle protruding from the hole it bore. After wintering inside a suitable host, the female X. dispar beetle takes advantage of the first warm day in late winter or spring to seek another host, preferably a tree exhibiting signs of stress. The much smaller male is flightless, staying in the tree in which it was born. The female’s initial attraction is to ethanol emitted by stressed trees. Once the female shothole borer finds a good host, she sends out an aggregation pheromone which attracts beetles of the same species. This volatile chemical is responsible for secondary attacks on trees, with hordes of beetles gathering on that tree or others nearby. Thus shothole borers often leave trees riddled with entrance holes. It is thought that X. dispar has two flights per year in Oregon, in early spring (our trap catches show a peak in late March/early April) with activity into May and June.
Beetle flights occur when temperatures reach 50 degrees F, particularly on a bright, sunny day. We have found it extremely helpful for growers with a history of shothole borers to monitor flights of the borers. The Lindgren funnel trap with an ethanol lure (Contech) was used successfully in our research to obtain flight data for several common borers.
Ranger, C., P. Shultz, M. Redding, S. Frank, and D. Palmquist. 2016. Flood Stress as a Technique to Assess Preventative Insecticide and Fungicide Treatments for Protecting Trees Against Ambrosia Beetles. Journal of IPM. 2016. 7(40). 11 p.http://ecoipm.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Ranger_etal_2016.pdf (February 2017)
Schuh, J. and D.C. Mote. 1948. Insect Pests of Nursery and Ornamental Trees and Shrubs in Oregon.
H. Omroa Bhagwandin, Jr. The Shothole Borer: An Ambrosia Beetle of Concern for Chestnut Orcharding in the Pacific Northwest. Western Chestnut Growers Assn.
Original: 7 May 2011
Revised 23 February 2017.
Author: R.L. Rosetta, Extension Nursery Integrated Pest Management, Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University/NWREC.
Holes from A. dispar emergence