Upper and lower surfaces of adult Honey Locust
Actual size, ~ 3/8” long Photo:
J. Shaughney NMSU Arthropod Collection
Agrilus difficilis, the ‘honey locust Agrilus’ and a close relative of ‘Emerald ash borer’ was identified in Central New Mexico infesting honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos). The tree canopy was leafless and apparently lifeless down to some green sucker growth near the ground. Upon closer examination there were D-shaped emergence holes in the bark, peeling bark with multiple larval feeding trails on its inner surface and small, very thin, blackish beetles that died in their attempts to escape their host. All of these beetle-related observations are similar to those caused by ‘emerald ash borer,’ an exotic, invasive ash-tree killer not known to occur yet in New Mexico. Dr. Carol Sutherland presumptively identified the insect as Agrilus difficilis, the ‘honey locust Agrilus’ and this was later confirmed by Dr. Zablotny of the United States Department of Agriculture.
|Emergence hole (D-shaped) made by an adult|
leaving the tree. R. Husted, Sandoval Co. MG.
Inside of honey locust bark – severe vascular
damage from |
larval stage. The black objects are adult A. difficilis that died
before it could chew its way through the bark.
Photo C. Sutherland NMSU-PDC
|This infested honey locust died |
from the top down note the green
sucker growth at the bottom.
Photo: R. Husted, Sandoval Co. MG.
A. difficilis larvae extracted from honey
locust. The two little |
dark brown ‘splinters’ on the rear are characteristic
of certain Agrilus species. Photo C. Sutherland NMSU-PDC