Accidentally introduced from Asia, the redbay ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus) carries a symbiotic fungus (Raffaelea lauricola) that has been linked to mortality of trees and shrubs from the Lauraceae family (Fraedrich and others 2007, Harrington and others 2008). The disease caused by the fungus, subsequently named laurel wilt, has severely impacted redbay (Persea borbonia) in coastal areas of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina and has also been linked to mortality of sassafras (Sassafras albidum) in this region.
Koch, Frank H.; Smith, William D. 2011. Emerging forest pest threat: Redbay ambrosia beetle and laurel wilt. In: Conkling, Barbara L., ed. 2011. Forest health monitoring: 2007 national technical report. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-147. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station.Pages 117-142. 26 p.