Oak Splendor Beetle
The oak splendor beetle is closely related to the emerald ash borer. It is not known to be in the US, but poses a serious threat should it be introduced, especially in the oak-rich eastern and western portions of the US. North America has the highest diversity of oaks in the world, and oaks produce acorns that are critical food for many kinds of wildlife. Oak splendor beetles lay their eggs under the bark of oak, chestnut and beech trees. Larvae eat the cambium of the tree, leaving zig-zag shaped galleries beneath the bark. The larvae overwinter in their galleries under the bark, and emerge in the late spring through D-shaped exit holes. As populations build in the tree, these galleries eventually girdle and kill the tree. As oaks are a critical component of our forests and landscaping, this insect could have severe economic and ecological impact if it was to be introduced to the US.
The current range of oak splendor beetle is Europe, Africa and Siberia. It is easily transported in wood products, especially those with the bark still attached. Pathways include wooden shipping materials (pallets, dunnage, etc.) and imported wooden products. If introduced adults can fly several miles so dispersal risk would be high and they could be transported unknowingly in firewood.
Think you've spotted this pest?
If you think you've found this pest in your landscape contact your local extension office to see about sending in a sample.
Find your local extension office here.