dogwood agrilus

(Agrilus cephalicus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

dogwood agrilus

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Uncommon

Flight/Season

One generation: May to July

Habitat/Hosts

Dogwood

Size

Total Length: ¼

          Photo by Alfredo Colon

Identification

This 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.

 
Similar
Species

Many similar species but none hosted on dogwood.


Larval Food

Dogwood (Cornus spp.) phloem and cambium.

 
Adult Food

Dogwood (Cornus spp.) leaves

 
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.

 
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.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 27, 29.


Comments

Identification
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.

Host
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.


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 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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