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Insects 2016, 7(4), 55;

Distribution, Pest Status and Fungal Associates of Euwallacea nr. fornicatus in Florida Avocado Groves

IFAS-Tropical Research and Education Center, University of Florida, Homestead, FL 33031, USA
Subtropical Horticulture Research Station, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Miami, FL 33158, USA
Brooks Tropicals, LLC, Homestead, FL 33090, USA
Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech, University of Liège, Gembloux B-5030, Belgium
Otis Laboratory, Plant Protection and Quarantine’s Science and Technology, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Buzzards Bay, MA 02542, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Brian T. Forschler
Received: 2 August 2016 / Revised: 26 September 2016 / Accepted: 5 October 2016 / Published: 14 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Invasive Insect Species)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1443 KB, uploaded 14 October 2016]   |  


Members of a complex of cryptic species, that correspond morphologically to the ambrosia beetle Euwallacea fornicatus (Eichhoff) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae), were recently found attacking avocado (Persea americana Mill.) in Israel and California. In early 2016, an outbreak of another member of this species complex was detected infesting approximately 1500 avocado trees in an avocado orchard at Homestead, Florida. An area-wide survey was conducted in commercial avocado groves of Miami-Dade County, Florida to determine the distribution and abundance of E. nr. fornicatus, to identify different populations of E. nr. fornicatus and their fungal associates, and to assess the extent of damage to avocado trees. Ewallacea nr. fornicatus were captured in 31 of the 33 sampled sites. A sample of 35 beetles from six different locations was identified as E. nr. fornicatus sp. #2, which is genetically distinct from the species causing damage in California and Israel. Eleven fungal associates were identified: an unknown Fusarium sp., AF-8, AF-6, Graphium euwallaceae, Acremonium sp. Acremonium morum, Acremonium masseei, Elaphocordyceps sp. and three yeast species. The unknown Fusarium isolates were the most abundant and frequently found fungus species associated with adult beetles and lesions surrounding the beetle galleries. In addition to fungal associates, three bacteria species were found associated with adult E. nr. fornicatus. Visual inspections detected significant damage in only two orchards. A large number of beetles were captured in locations with no apparent damage on the avocado trees suggesting that E. nr. fornicatus are associated with other host(s) outside the groves or with dead trees or branches inside the groves. More research is needed to determine the potential threat E. nr. fornicatus and its fungal associates pose to the avocado industry and agricultural and natural ecosystems in Florida. View Full-Text
Keywords: ambrosia beetles; symbiosis; Fusarium ambrosia beetles; symbiosis; Fusarium

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Carrillo, D.; Cruz, L.F.; Kendra, P.E.; Narvaez, T.I.; Montgomery, W.S.; Monterroso, A.; De Grave, C.; Cooperband, M.F. Distribution, Pest Status and Fungal Associates of Euwallacea nr. fornicatus in Florida Avocado Groves. Insects 2016, 7, 55.

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