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Pest Information

Red-shouldered shothole borer

Red-shouldered shothole borer

  • Latin Name: Xylobiops basilaris
  • Common Name: Red-shouldered shothole borer
  • Other Names: Red-shouldered bostrichid

Pest Details

Red-shouldered shothole borer


This is a native insect in the eastern half of North America.


Adult beetles are active during summer months when they bore into the bark of susceptible trees, such as hickory, persimmon, and many other deciduous hardwoods. The female then deposits eggs as she burrows in the sapwood, and the combination of this burrowing by the adults along with the feeding channels of the larvae may girdle the tree. Development requires 1 to 2 years from egg to adult insect and all stages may overwinter within the galleries.


The adult beetle is 4-7 mm long with dark gray to black head, thorax, and elytra, but with a large orange to reddish patch of color at the top of each wing cover. Typical of Bostrichids the head is hidden from view from above as it projects downward from the thorax. At the posterior junction of the wing covers there is a flattened area surrounded by about 8 long spines, similar to some bark beetles in the Scolytidae. However, Bostrichids have the characteristic antennae where the last 3 segments are much longer than the previous segments and they are separated, not formed into a compact club. The front of the thorax is flattened and there are several roughened raised ridges on the top of the front of the thorax.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

Control is difficult once the adults or larvae are feeding within the tree, but they may be killed by systemic insecticides injected into the trunk. Adult beetles may be killed if contact insecticides can be applied to the trunk timed to the first presence of the adult beetles. Healthy trees are generally able to withstand the presence of some of the larvae, so good tree health is important.

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