Look after! Invasive Citrus Root Beetle Has Arrived in Tallahassee

The citrus root beetle (Diaprepes abbreviatus) is a new invasive insect pest of specialty crops in Leon County. The first specimens of the insect were collected over the summer at the FAMU Center for Viticulture and Small Fruit Research from satsuma mandarin trees.

Common host plants of the citrus root beetle include citrus fruits, grapes, papayas, sweet potatoes, sugar cane, cotton, peanuts, corn and other plant species. The pest is known to feed on more than 270 species of plants within 59 different families.

Citrus root beetles damage not only citrus, but other crops as well, such as these blackberry leaves.

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Although the pest is native to the Caribbean Basin, it was introduced to Florida in 1964 via a shipment of ornamental plants from Puerto Rico.

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