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Subject: Widely distributed pest of palms not yet found in U.S.
Date posted: January 24, 2002
Source: University of Florida
The nematode Bursaphelenchus cocophilus is responsible for red ring disease of palms, which appears most commonly in those species producing oil and coconuts, though it is also found in date and Cuban royal palms. Red ring nematodes are considered to be one of the most important pests in the tropics, and while this species occurs throughout the Caribbean and South and Central America (including Mexico), it has yet to be reported from the continental U.S., Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands. However, B. cocophilus' principal vector, the palm weevil (Rhynchophorus palmarum), can be found in the southern parts of California and Texas, and east of the West Indies to Cuba. Though the palm weevil is not found in Florida, other potential beetle vectors, such as R. cruentatus, are common there, as well as other possible types of carriers including ants and spiders.

More information can be found at http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/nematode/red_ring_nematode.htm