The bark beetle Scolytogenes birosimensis Niijima is suspected to be involved in the decline of Pittosporum tobira (Thunb. ex Murray) Aiton in the coastal areas of Japan. We isolated fungi from adult S. birosimensis in nine different localities in Japan to assess their potential association and predict their contribution to the success of the beetle. Results from morphological identification of associated fungi showed that the beetle was associated with Fusarium solani and Candida spp. Furthermore, molecular analysis showed that F. solani was most closely related to the plant pathogenic fungus F. solani f. sp. mori. Fungal isolation from surface-sterilized, dissected beetles and scanning electron miscroscope (SEM) observation of the body surface suggested that the associated fungi were carried in the pits on the beetles' elytra. These findings contribute to the understanding of the relationships between S. birosimensis and its associated fungi.
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Vol. 41 • No. 2