Friday, November 27, 2015
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Palo Verde Borer or Prionid

The adult beetle is dark brown to black and about 3 1/2 inches in length. The female deposits eggs in oval shaped holes beneath host trees at a depth of 2 to 3 inches. Upon hatching, the small larvae make their way to the root system of the tree and begin to feed.

They bore into the center of a root and move toward the trunk crown as they feed and develop.

The full grown larvae will be 3 to 4 inches long. The larvae pupate within the roots of the host tree after the larval development period which requires 3 years for completion. The pupae emerge as adults during June and July leaving holes through which they emerge. Adults are nocturnal in habit and appear at or just after dusk.

Adults begin to deposit eggs soon after emergence. The emergence and egg holes are about 3/4 of an inch in diameter.
Damage occurs only to the root system and is followed by death of certain above-ground limbs and eventually the entire tree. Larvae damage the root system by pruning off the small roots and more extensively by boring through the centers as well as girdling roots.
The primary host is the palo verde tree. The beetles also attack other trees 
including Chinese elm, mulberry, cottonwood, and citrus. 
Control of this insect is difficult and attempts are often unsuccessful.
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