dogwood agrilus

(Agrilus cephalicus)

Conservation Status
dogwood agrilus
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Agrilus is one of the largest genera of animals in the world. There are about 2,900 species worldwide, most of which occur in the Asia Pacific region. There are 194 species in North America north of Mexico. Many are very similar in appearance and difficult if not impossible to distinguish by appearance alone. However, they are host species specialists. They can be identified by the plant on which the larvae and adults feed.

Dogwood agrilus is a small, ¼ (5.8 mm) long, 1 16 (1.5 mm) wide, metallic wood-boring beetle. It is widely distributed but not common. The body is hard, narrow, elongated, parallel-sided, and moderately flattened above (dorsally). It varies from dark coppery brown to nearly black and has a metallic copper sheen.

The upper plate covering the prothorax (pronotum) is wider than long and broadly rounded at the sides. It is slightly narrower than the base of the hardened wing covers (elytra).

The elytra are slightly narrowed before the middle and tapered beyond the middle toward the tips. The tips are separated, broadly rounded, and finely toothed. Toward the tip the inner margins are slightly elevated.

The antennae are short, extending only to about the middle of the pronotum. They are sawtoothed from the fourth segment to the tip.

The larvae are known as flat-headed wood borers. They are elongated, narrow, slightly flattened, and whitish. The first segment of the thorax is widened and has a horny, plate-like surface with a line down the middle. This widened segment is the source of the common name of wood-boring larvae, flat-head. It has no legs but has a pair of forcep-like spines at the rear end of the abdomen.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: ¼

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Many similar species but none hosted on dogwood.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

 

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

One generation: May to July

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

On small stems the bark bulges over the larvae’s excavated gallery as it heals, betraying the presence of the wood-borer. When adults emerge they leave through a small D-shaped hole they chew in the bark.

Adults are active on sunny days. They run rapidly to evade predators and collectors. If necessary, they will take flight.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

The female deposits eggs in crevices in the bark on a stem of the host. When the eggs hatch, the larvae bore through the bark, phloem, and cambium, to the surface of the sapwood. They excavate meandering galleries which are tightly filled with frass behind them. They pupate within the wood. Adults emerge from May to July.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Dogwood (Cornus spp.) phloem and cambium.

The dogwood agrilus, as the name implies, attacks only dogwoods (Cornus spp.). It attacks trees or shrubs that have been injured or have been weakened by recent transplantation, insect infestation, or disease. They hasten the death of the host and are partially responsible for the decline of dogwoods in the southern states.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Dogwood (Cornus spp.) leaves

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 27, 29.

 
  6/13/2018      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Uncommon

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Coleoptera (beetles)  
 

Suborder

Polyphaga (water, rove, scarab, longhorn, leaf and snout beetles)  
 

Infraorder

Elateriformia  
 

Superfamily

Buprestoidea (metallic wood boring beetles)  
 

Family

Buprestidae (metallic wood-boring beetles)  
 

Subfamily

Agrilinae (branch and leaf buprestids)  
 

Tribe

Agrilini  
  Subtribe Agrilina  
 

Genus

Agrilus  
  Subgenus Agrilus  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

dogwood agrilus

dogwood cambium borer

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Elytra

The hardened or leathery forewings on an insect used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying, in beetles and true bugs.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
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Alfredo Colon

 
    dogwood agrilus      
           
 
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  Alfredo Colon
6/5/2018

Location: Woodbury, MN

dogwood agrilus  
           
 
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