New Pest Associated with Afghan Pine (Pinus eldarica) Found
in the El Paso Area
In the spring of 2008, Texas A&M Forest Service
urban forester Oscar Mestas found dying Pinus eldarica (Afghan pine) in El Paso,
TX. Subsequent surveys found dying Afghan pines in several communities in west
Texas and southern New Mexico. Further investigation revealed insect larvae
associated with small pits under the bark of dying trees. The insect is believed
to be a tiny chalcid wasp, probably Eurytoma species, family Eurytomidae.
What we know:
- At this time only found on Pinus eldarica (Afghan
- Larvae construct pits in the xylem.
- Apparently a
chalcid wasp; family Eurytomidae.
- Trees have been infested in past
years as indicated by old pits covered with new wood.
- Infests trees of
- On older trees most infestations are on branches and twigs in
the upper crown.
- On younger trees larvae are usually found on smooth
bark on the main trunk in the top 1/3 of the crown.
- Multiple wasp
attacks kill smaller twigs and branches, stressing the tree. Infested pines can
survive low density ttacks but severely-infested trees may eventually die.
- Environmental factors could be influencing the chalcid attacks.
+ View the Effects of the Chalcid Wasp on Afghan Pine