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Twolined Chestnut Borer

USDA Forest Service - Northeastern Area Archive, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org
 Agrilus bilineatus (Weber). The twolined chestnut borer belongs to the beetle family Buprestidae. The word "chestnut" refers to the beetle's past status as a principal pest of American chestnut, Castanea dentata.

Oaks are the primary hosts of this pest. Some of the more frequently attacked species include white oak (Quercus alba), scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea), northern pin oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis), bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa), chestnut oak (Quercus prinus), northern red oak (Quercus rubra); post oak, (Quercus stellata), black oak, (Quercus velutina), and live oak, (Quercus virginiana).

Adult twolined chestnut borers primarily attack oaks that are damaged by drought or trees that are suppressed or declining. Urban oaks that suffer stress from trunk and root injury, soil compaction, and changes in soil depth are equally vulnerable to attack by this pest. Oaks that have been defoliated by insects such as gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), elm spanworm (Ennomos subsignarius), fall cankerworm (Alsophila pometaria), and forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) are also attacked by the twolined chestnut borer.

The twolined chestnut borer adults attack and kill stressed oaks. Other oak borers, such as the red oak borer, Enaphalodes rufulus, and the carpenterworm, Prionoxystus robiniae, attack live trees without killing them.

The first symptom of borer attack is usually wilted foliage appearing on scattered branches during late summer (fig. 2). The foliage on infested branches wilts prematurely, turns brown, but remains attached to the branches for several weeks or months before dropping. Such branches will die and produce no foliage in the next year.

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