Invasive Hawaiian Kiawe Round-Headed Borers Emerge from souvenir Tiki Statue in Oregon

Subject:  Bug from Maui found in wood art
Geographic location of the bug:  In Oregon now, brought Tiki from Hawaii
Date: 03/09/2019
Time: 12:43 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, Our Tiki from Hawaii had sawdust around it for awhile, I put in a container. A couple months later these two guys showed up. Wondering what they are. Gave them some water but not sure I want to let them loose. They bore big holes in wood.
How you want your letter signed:  Verlan & Kristi

Kiawe Borer

Dear Verlan & Kristi,
This is a Kiawe Roung-Headed Borer,
Placosternus crinicornis, an invasive species in Hawaii.  Its larvae are wood borers that feed on Kiawe or Prosopsis, and ccording to Wikipedia, Kiawe or Prosopis limensis is a species of mesquite native to South America.  According to BugGuide:  “This beetle’s host plant, Kiawe (Prosopis pallida), is a tropical mesquite native to Peru, Ecuador and Colombia that was introduced to Hawai’i by a single seed planted in a courtyard in Honolulu in 1826. Kiawe spread to all islands and became a source of nectar for honey production, the abundant seed pods produced became fodder for a growing cattle industry, and the wood is prized for smoking meats and barbecue. The first Kiawe Round-headed Borer was collected in 1904. The beetles are attracted to felled trees and cut wood.”  Beetles with wood boring larvae frequently emerge from milled lumber many years after the tree that contained the larva was felled.

Kiawe Borers

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