Hylastes spp. (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) were evaluated as potential vectors of Leptographium spp. fungi. Bark beetles were trapped from stands of loblolly pine, Pinus taeda L., exhibiting a range of decline symptoms in central Alabama. Under controlled conditions, field-collected adult Hylastes salebrosus Eichoff (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) and Hylastes tenuis Eichoff (Coleoptera: Scolytidae), which had been surface-sterilized and inoculated with Leptographium terebrantis Barras & Perry and Leptographium serpens (Goid.) Wingfield, transmitted the fungi into 100% of wounded and unwounded loblolly root sections with which they were confined. None of the sterilized and uninoculated beetles transmitted any Leptographium spp. to roots. Significantly more H. salebrosus and H. tenuis brood emerged from roots infected with Leptographium species than from sterile roots, indicating an enhancement of Hylastes reproduction.
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Vol. 97 • No. 2