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Twig girdler Beetle, a common member of the longhorned wood borer family. found in the eastern region of the united states New york, New Jersey, Connecticut.
Twig girdler Adults are grayish brown with a lighter band across the back, and 12-17 mm long. Color is near that of bark of host twigs, thus adults on trees are inconspicuous and easily overlooked . Antennae are slightly longer than the body of the beetle, and each antenna has 11 segments. Eggs are elongate-oval, about 2.5 mm long and white color. Twig girdler Larvae are white. Pupae are about as long as full-grown larvae.
Twig girdler adult beetles girdle twigs and small branches causing the injured portions to break away or hang loosely on the tree. It is not uncommon to see the ground under infested trees almost covered with twigs that have been cut off. Girdling affects the beauty and aesthetic quality of ornamental plantings. With pecans, the fruiting twigs of heavily infested trees are often reduced, resulting in lower nut yields the following year or years.
Life Cycle: Twig girdler adult female twig girdler prepares twigs for egg laying in a very distinctive manner. She selects a small twig with thin bark about 3/8 inch in diameter deep into the wood. In the section of the twig above the girdle, a small hole is gnawed and the egg is placed inside. The twig soon dies and will remain on the tree for a period of time. Eventually,the twig falls from the tree. The egg nevertheless hatches soon after being laid.
Twig girdler Beetle
larva starts development in the late summer and fall and the partially grown larvae overwinter in the twig. The larva development continues again in the spring until the middle of the next summer when it is completed and the twig is filled with fibrous frass. This development cycle takes place even if the twig falls off the tree. The larvae pupate in the twig and the adults emerge in late summer.
Damage: ground under infested trees almost covered with twigs that have been cut off. This affects the beauty and aesthetic quality of ornamental plantings. The fruiting area of heavily infested pecan trees is often greatly reduced, resulting in low nut yields the following year and sometimes longer.
This type of injury causes the development of many offshoots that adversely affect the symmetry of the tree. Pecan nurseries located close to heavily infested woodlots occasionally suffer considerable loss from girdled seedlings.. Repeated girdling of terminals causes forks, crooks, and other stem deformities in young timber plantations as well as in natural reproduction.
Controls: Orchards, nurseries, and ornamental plantings, the severed twigs on the ground as well as those lodged in the trees should be gathered and destroyed during the fall, winter, and spring when the eggs and grubs are in the twigs. The same practice should be followed in nearby wood lots containing oak and hickory when nearby plantings have a history of serious damage from this insect pest. Populations can be greatly reduced in one or two seasons.
Twig girdler Beetle Damage
Insecticides may be necessary to prevent damage from heavy infestations in some hardwood tree nurseries. These may be applied once or twice in September and again in October as a protectant to reduce the majority of the twig girdlers.
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