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Datasheet

Moneilema semipunctatum (cactus borer beetle)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 05 November 2015
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Documented Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Moneilema semipunctatum
  • Preferred Common Name
  • cactus borer beetle
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • M. semipunctatum is a large, black, flightless beetle, native to the arid regions of the western USA and northern Mexico. It feeds on genera in the cactus family (Cactaceae). Hosts are typically in the subfamily Opuntioideae, such as species of th...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Moneilema semipunctatum (cactus borer beetle); adult beetle. Garden Canyon between Sawmill and Shelite Canyons, Ft Huachuca, Sierra Vista, Huachuca Mountains, Cochise County, Arizona, USA. July 25, 2013.
TitleAdult
CaptionMoneilema semipunctatum (cactus borer beetle); adult beetle. Garden Canyon between Sawmill and Shelite Canyons, Ft Huachuca, Sierra Vista, Huachuca Mountains, Cochise County, Arizona, USA. July 25, 2013.
Copyright©Mike Quinn-2013/www.texasento.net - CC BY-ND-NC 1.0
Moneilema semipunctatum (cactus borer beetle); adult beetle. Garden Canyon between Sawmill and Shelite Canyons, Ft Huachuca, Sierra Vista, Huachuca Mountains, Cochise County, Arizona, USA. July 25, 2013.
AdultMoneilema semipunctatum (cactus borer beetle); adult beetle. Garden Canyon between Sawmill and Shelite Canyons, Ft Huachuca, Sierra Vista, Huachuca Mountains, Cochise County, Arizona, USA. July 25, 2013.©Mike Quinn-2013/www.texasento.net - CC BY-ND-NC 1.0
Moneilema semipunctatum (cactus borer beetle); adult. Museum set specimen. Bautista Canyon, Riverside County, California, USA.
TitleAdult
CaptionMoneilema semipunctatum (cactus borer beetle); adult. Museum set specimen. Bautista Canyon, Riverside County, California, USA.
Copyright©Larry G. Bezark/New World Cerambycidae Catalog - https://apps2.cdfa.ca.gov/publicApps/plant/bycidDB/wdefault.asp
Moneilema semipunctatum (cactus borer beetle); adult. Museum set specimen. Bautista Canyon, Riverside County, California, USA.
AdultMoneilema semipunctatum (cactus borer beetle); adult. Museum set specimen. Bautista Canyon, Riverside County, California, USA.©Larry G. Bezark/New World Cerambycidae Catalog - https://apps2.cdfa.ca.gov/publicApps/plant/bycidDB/wdefault.asp

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Moneilema semipunctatum LeConte

Preferred Common Name

  • cactus borer beetle

Other Scientific Names

  • Moneilema armigera Motschulsky
  • Moneilema forte LeConte
  • Moneilema obtusum LeConte
  • Moneilema scabra Motschulsky
  • Moneilema shantzi Casey
  • Moneilema spoliatum Horn

International Common Names

  • English: cactus longhorn beetle; Opuntia borer beetle; Opuntia longhorn beetle

Summary of Invasiveness

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M. semipunctatum is a large, black, flightless beetle, native to the arid regions of the western USA and northern Mexico. It feeds on genera in the cactus family (Cactaceae). Hosts are typically in the subfamily Opuntioideae, such as species of the genera Opuntia (prickly pears) and Cylindropuntia (chollas). However, since the late 1970s there have been new records for the occurrence of M. semipunctatum, in its native range, on other genera in the subfamily Opuntioideae, such as Sclerocactus. This is causing a problem for the health and survival of species of rare endemic cacti, many of which are already listed as threatened or endangered. M. semipunctatum also poses a threat to native and exotic cacti in gardens and ornamental nurseries.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Coleoptera
  •                         Family: Cerambycidae
  •                             Genus: Moneilema
  •                                 Species: Moneilema semipunctatum

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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M. semipunctatum belongs to the genus Moneilema (cactus longhorn beetles), which comprises species of large, flightless, black beetles native to the arid regions of western North America and Mexico. There are 20 species in the genus (Bezark, 2015), and the type species is Moneilema annulatum Say (Linsley and Chemsak, 1984).

Description

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The adult of M. semipunctatum is a wingless, black beetle with a convex, often elongate, dull to shining, glabrous body. Females are 15–30 mm long and males 15–26 mm long. M. semipunctatum has small pronotal spines, large punctures on the disk of the pronotum, and a lack of pubescent patches on the coxae. There are some geographical variations in morphology; in northern populations, punctuation of the pronotum is denser and the integument is often duller than in southern populations (Linsley and Chemsak, 1984).

Distribution

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The native range of M. semipunctatum is arid regions of western North America. It has been reported from southern Idaho, California, Nevada, Utah, south-western Colorado, northern Arizona and north-western New Mexico in the USA, and northern Baja California in Mexico (May, 1982; Linsley and Chemsak, 1984; Evans and Hogue, 2006; Swift, 2008). M. semipunctatum has been found at elevations of up to 2900 metres in the White Mountains, California (Raske, 1966 in Lingafelter, 2003).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

CountryDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferencesNotes

NORTH AMERICA

MexicoPresentNativeNot invasiveLinsley & Chemsak, 1984; Woodruff, 2010Baja California
USA
-ArizonaPresent, few occurrencesNativeNot invasiveWoodruff, 2010; Linsley & Chemsak, 1984Northern Arizona
-CaliforniaPresentNativeNot invasiveLinsley & Chemsak, 1984; Swift, 2008; Evans & Hogue, 2006; May, 1982; Woodruff, 2010Documented locations include Eastern Sierra, Western Mojave Desert, southern California (desert scrub in the coastal plain), China Lake, Owens Valley, interior foothills of the Transverse and Peninsular Ranges
-ColoradoPresent, few occurrencesNativeNot invasiveColes et al., 2012; Utah Ecological Services Field Office, 2010; Woodruff, 2010South-western Colorado, Colorado Plateau
-IdahoPresent, few occurrencesNativeNot invasiveLinsley & Chemsak, 1984; Woodruff, 2010Southern Idaho
-NevadaPresentNativeNot invasiveLinsley & Chemsak, 1984; Woodruff, 2010
-New MexicoPresentNativeNot invasiveWoodruff, 2010North-western New Mexico
-UtahPresentNativeNot invasiveLinsley & Chemsak, 1984; Woodruff, 2010

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
Arid regionsPresent, no further detailsNatural
DesertsPresent, no further detailsNatural

Hosts/Species Affected

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Species of Moneilema, including M. semipunctatum, feed on genera in the cactus family (Cactaceae). Their hosts are typically in the subfamily Opuntioideae, such as species of the genera Opuntia (prickly pears) and Cylindropuntia (chollas) (Raske, 1966; Kass, 2001; Woodruff, 2010). Hosts of M. semipunctatum in the subfamily Opuntioideae include Opuntia parryi (syn. Cylindropuntia californica subsp. parkeri), O. acanthocarpa (syn. Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa), O. echinocarpa (syn. Cylindropuntia echinocarpa), O. erinaceae, O. whipplei (syn. Cylindropuntia whipplei), O. bigelovii (syn. Cylindropuntia bigelovii) and O. basilaris (Linsley and Chemsak, 1984; 1997; Evans and Hogue, 2006).

The genus Moneilema has always been known to be opportunistic, occasionally feeding on cacti outside of the subfamily Opuntioideae. However, since the late 1970s there have been many new records for the occurrence of Moneilema species, including M. semipunctatum, on species in the subfamily Cactoideae, within the beetles’ native ranges. This is causing a problem for the health and survival of rare endemic cacti, many of which are already listed as threatened or endangered (Ladyman, 2004; Woodruff, 2010).

Hosts of M. semipunctatum in the subfamily Cactoideae include: the endangered Mojave fishhook cactus, Sclerocactus polyancistrus, in southern California (May, 1982); the endangered Wright fishhook cactus, Sclerocactus wrightiae in Utah (Kass, 2001); the threatened Mesa Verde cactus, Sclerocactus mesae-verdae (Ladyman, 2004; Coles et al., 2012); the threatened Winkler’s pincushion cactus, Pediocactus winkleri in Utah (Tilley et al., 2011); and the endangered San Rafael cactus, Pediocactus despainii in Utah (Tilley et al., 2013).

Other (unspecified) species of Moneilema have been recorded on species in the genus Sclerocactus, including Sclerocactus glaucus in Utah (Kass, 2001) and Sclerocactus parviflorus, Sclerocactus wetlandicus, Sclerocactus pubispinus and Sclerocactus spinosior (Woodruff, 2010).

Other genera in the subfamily Cactoideae besides Sclerocactus have also been recorded as hosts of Moneilema species. Such records include Moneilema gigas damaging a potential nursery crop of Trichocereus spachianus in Arizona (Crosswhite and Crosswhite, 1985); Moneilema appressum on Echinocereus coccineus in Arizona (Lingafelter, 2003); Moneilema variolare on Myrtillocactus geometrizans in Mexico (Salazar et al., 2004); Moneilema michelbacheri on Ferocactus gracilis in Baja California (Clark et al., 2007); and Moneilema armatum on Astrophytum asterias in Texas (Ferguson and Williamson, 2009).

The reasons for the apparently recent host-switching within Moneilema from subfamily Opuntioideae to subfamily Cactoideae are not certain. Suggestions include: (1) competition with other insect genera or within Moneilema; (2) a scarcity of host species in Opuntioideae; and (3) the evolution of a distinct race or races of the species with a different host preference (Woodruff, 2010). Clark et al. (2007) presumed that Ferocactus gracilis is not a major food source for M. michelbacheri in Baja California but may be an alternative when other host plants are not available. Woodruff (2010) suggested that host-switching could be due to the evolution of a distinct race or races with a different host preference, because there was no scarcity of Opuntia and Cylindropuntia in the area of Utah studied and competition with other insect species was unlikely. In some cases, host-switching may occur for historical reasons. Lingafelter (2003) recorded M. appressum on Echinocereus coccineus at 2760 m (9055 feet) in Arizona and suggested that, owing to the poor dispersal of these beetles, their occurrence at such a high elevation may indicate that they belong to a relictual population surviving after something caused the disappearance of the predominant host Opuntia.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Plant nameFamilyContext
Cylindropuntia acanthocarpaCactaceaeMain
Cylindropuntia bigeloviiCactaceaeMain
Cylindropuntia californica subsp. parkeriCactaceaeMain
Cylindropuntia echinocarpaCactaceaeMain
Cylindropuntia whippleiCactaceaeMain
Opuntia basilarisCactaceaeMain
Opuntia erinaceaCactaceaeMain
Pediocactus despainiiCactaceaeWild host
Pediocactus winkleri (Winkler's pincushion cactus)CactaceaeWild host
Sclerocactus mesae-verdaeCactaceaeWild host
Sclerocactus polyancistrusCactaceaeWild host
Sclerocactus wrightiaeCactaceaeWild host

Growth Stages

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Symptoms

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Adults feed on the succulent portions of cacti and the larvae feed near the root collar and within the stems. Feeding activity by boring larvae of M. semipunctatum on Opuntia can be recognized above ground by the tar-like excrement of the larvae and the fluids expelled by the plant from the wounds they create (Evans and Hogue, 2006). Adult feeding by Moneilema spp. can often result in severance of the joints in Opuntia, which fall to the ground and frequently take root, aiding dissemination of the plants. Heavy infestations of the beetles can kill the plants (Woodruff, 1966). Although M. semipunctatum is not generally lethal for Opuntia plants, which can propagate vegetatively, the effect of the beetle on Sclerocactus varies with the host species (Woodruff, 2010). Infestation by M. semipunctatum has been reported as a significant but localized source of mortality of all Sclerocactus species on the Colorado Plateau, particularly of larger, mature, reproducing individuals (Utah Ecological Services Field Office, 2010).

Symptoms on Sclerocactus wrightiae include external chew marks, pronounced constrictions between growth segments, and a spongy and chlorotic appearance, leading to loss of vigour, lower fecundity and death in the same or subsequent years (Kass, 2001). Species of Sclerocactus that produce offsets may make a new head but others, e.g. S. parviflorus (smallflower fishhook), the most common species in Utah, die because the top of the root is severed by larvae (Woodruff, 2010). It takes only one egg-laying female beetle of Moneilema (species not specified) to kill a 20-year-old cactus (Woodruff, 2010).

Dying plants of Sclerocactus become a skeleton of spines with some dry, crumbly flesh at the base. The skeleton then breaks down into separate spine clusters and disintegrates. The time sequence of dissolution of a dead Sclerocactus has not been quantified, and depends on disturbance by wind or animals. It is often possible to tell that a plant is infested because the areoles will be too close together, indicating that it is not metabolizing well. The apex will look shrivelled, the plant will not flower or it may have a discoloured patch on its side (Woodruff, 2010).

Closed carcasses (the spine skeleton remaining in the form of the original stem) and damaged stems of Sclerocactus polyancistrus were recorded following attacks by M. semipunctatum during surveys in China Lake, California, in 1982 (May, 1982). Larvae left entry holes 50–150 mm in diameter. Mature larvae formed a pupal cell from soil cemented together with secretions, which was often found adjacent to the carcass. Where partial damage of the stem had occurred, adventitious roots emerged at the base of the damaged cortex and occasionally the stem re-rooted, although it was thought that plants probably never regained their full vitality (May, 1982). An infested stem, or a stem immediately after infestation, showed loss of vigour (absence of apical growth shown by lack of spination and buds); discoloration (usually brown, particularly at the base of the stem); apical ‘curl-over’; regrowth (‘pups’) in the damaged area; cortex damage, particularly at the base of the stem and/or the presence of one or more larval entry holes; excision of the stem from the root system; and the remnants of pupal cells in the soil adjacent to or beneath the stem. Pupal cells and remnants of channels in the decomposed cortex were still visible in 1- to 2-year-old carcasses (May, 1982).

Once a cactus has been damaged by Moneilema it may be more vulnerable to rot and secondary infestation or predation by other insects (May, 1982). The larval burrows of Moneilema species can allow access to some scavenging insects (e.g. the syrphid Copestylum marginatum and stratiomyids in the genus Hermitia), which then breed in the living joints (Hunter et al., 1912). 

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType

Growing point

distortion
external feeding

Roots

external feeding

Stems

discoloration
external feeding
gummosis or resinosis
internal feeding
visible frass

Whole plant

cut at stem base
discoloration
distortion; rosetting
external feeding
frass visible
internal feeding
plant dead; dieback

Biology and Ecology

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Adults of M. semipunctatum are flightless and nocturnal or crepuscular. They are active from April to November, with a peak in activity during July and August. At dusk they climb up the cactus stem to feed on the stem crown. They hide in the base or crowns of plants during the day (Linsley and Chemsak, 1984; Evans and Hogue, 2006). The flightless adult of M. semipunctatum has been recorded walking towards lights (Evans and Hogue, 2006).

Reproductive Biology

Mating occurs at night on top of the plant and eggs are deposited near the base of the plants (Evans and Hogue, 2006). Copulation often continues all night (Linsley and Chemsak, 1984). After hatching, larvae usually feed near the root collar and attempt to tunnel into the plant. This causes the plant to produce an exudate (Raske, 1972), which prevents the larva from entering. The larva remains in the exudate for several days. The larvae tunnel into the plant during the second or third instar. The pupal cell is constructed partially or entirely in the soil or within the hollowed-out stem or pads in the autumn (Linsley and Chemsak, 1984; Kass, 2001; Evans and Hogue, 2006). The larva overwinters in the pupal cell, and usually moults once more before pupation. If pupation has not occurred by the spring the larva will pupate the following year. The pupation stage lasts 15–20 days and adults usually emerge in late spring or early summer (Linsley and Chemsak, 1984).

It is not certain how many generations a year occur in M. semipunctatum. Hunter et al. (1912) reported that Moneilema species normally have only one generation a year. Two generations a year have been reported for Moneilema armatum in Texas, with the adults emerging in April and again in September and living 2–3 months during the summer (Hamlin, 1926).

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
BS - Steppe climatePreferred> 430mm and < 860mm annual precipitation
BW - Desert climatePreferred< 430mm annual precipitation

Notes on Natural Enemies

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Parasites of the genus Moneilema include the encyrtid Ooencyrtus moneilemae reared from eggs of an unspecified species of Moneilema in Texas (Gahan, 1925) and from the eggs of Moneilema armatum in cages (Hamlin, 1926), and the pteromalid Neocatolaccus moneilemae reared from cocoons of M. ulkei in Texas (Gahan, 1936).

Pathway Causes

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CauseNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
HitchhikerMay be present as adults of larvae in plants collect from the wildYesYesWoodruff, 2010

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Plants or parts of plantsMay be present as adults or larvae in plants collected from the wildYesYesWoodruff, 2010

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Stems (above ground), Shoots, Trunks, Branchesadults; larvaeYesYesPest or symptoms usually invisible
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Roots

Impact: Economic

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Moneilema can use both native and exotic cacti as hosts opportunistically and are considered to be the most injurious insect pests of cacti in the USA (Woodruff, 2010). M. semipunctatum is having a direct impact on the populations of rare endemic cacti, many of which are already listed as threatened or endangered in the beetle’s native range (Daerr, 2001; Woodruff, 2010). In addition, the beetle could be a problem for cacti in gardens and ornamental nurseries (Woodruff, 1966; 2010). M. variolare is considered to be a serious pest of cultivated Opuntia spp. in Mexico (Badii and Flores, 2001). 

Impact: Environmental

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The recently observed host-switching of Moneilema from subfamily Opuntioideae to Sclerocactus and other genera of Cactoideae is causing a problem for the health and survival of native cacti, which are also facing many other threats, including commercial activities, livestock grazing, restricted habitat availability in some species, poaching and climate change (Daerr, 2001; Woodruff, 2010).

In a 7-year study in Utah (Kass, 2001), M. semipunctatum accounted for an average of 23% mortality of the endangered Sclerocactus wrightiae. Beetles attacked stems larger than 2 cm wide and mortality was > 40% in stems more than 4 cm wide. Declines in larger individuals of S. wrightiae have been recorded in inventories conducted since 1986. Although some of this may result from amateur and commercial collecting and habitat degradation, it is possible that the beetle may be causing a shift in population structure of S. wrightiae as a result of increased mortality of stems of reproductive size (Kass, 2001). Such beetle outbreaks are likely to result in a significant and long-lasting reduction in reproductive output, because flower and fruit production are reported to be positively correlated with stem diameter (Ladyman, 2004).

M. semipunctatum has been recorded causing similar changes to the size and structure of populations of the threatened Sclerocactus mesae-verdae. During a 20-year study (1986–2005) in three plots in south-western Colorado, USA (Coles et al., 2012), M. semipunctatum was found to be the primary cause of plant mortality (26%) in S. mesae-verdae and also marginally the highest factor for stem mortality (20%), although drought/seedling failure accounted for nearly the same proportion of stem deaths (19%). When not fatal, damage by the beetle can result in multiple stem production, a phenomenon referred to as ‘sprouting’ (Coles, 2003 in Ladyman, 2004). About 20% of beetle-damaged plants in the study of Coles et al. (2012) survived and produced one or more sprouts. Beetles attacked stems between 0.6 and 11.1 cm in diameter, and in all three plots larger stems were more vulnerable (the mean diameter of killed plants was 4.7 cm in two plots and 5.7 cm in the third), resulting in a shift in the bulk of the population from reproductive stems to non-reproductive stems. This may reduce the ability of the cactus population to replace itself over the long term because many stems may never reach the size needed to produce flowers and seeds (it typically took 7–11 years for a seedling to reach reproductive size, of approximately 2.1 cm diameter). To some extent, sprouting may mitigate the drop in reproductive output caused by a loss of larger plants. Stems that originate as sprouts from an extant stem grow rapidly and generally flower within 3 years of sprouting; some may even flower in the same year they sprout. M. semipunctatum populations were favoured in years following a mild winter (Coles et al., 2012).

Following the death of plants of Sclerocactus by Moneilema, competition by cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) can reduce the establishment of Sclerocactus seedlings from the seed bank. Sclerocactus populations have a better chance of recovering in environments where cheatgrass has not become established. However, as the beetle will have selectively removed the largest and oldest individuals, which are the best seed producers, new plants may not have time to mature before the beetles kill the plants again (Woodruff, 2010).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Sclerocactus mesae-verdaeIUCN red list: Least concernColorado; New MexicoHerbivory/grazing/browsingColes et al., 2012
Sclerocactus wrightiaeIUCN red list: Near threatenedUtahHerbivory/grazing/browsingKass, 2001

Risk and Impact Factors

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Impact outcomes

  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species

Likelihood of entry/control

  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field
  • Difficult/costly to control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally

Uses

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Environmental Services

In the first half of the 20th century, species of Moneilema, particularly M. blapsides ulkei, were introduced into Australia for the biological control of Opuntia species (Dodd, 1927; 1936; Linsley and Chemsak, 1984). M. blapsides ulkei was tested for the biological control of prickly pears in South Africa but did not survive in the laboratory and was not liberated (Pettey, 1948). Species of Moneilema were also evaluated for the biological control of Opuntia spp. in Texas (Dameron and Smith, 1939) and M. armatum was released for the biological control of Opuntia megacantha in Hawaii (Thistle, 1957). Attempts to introduce M. armatum from Texas to control Opuntia spp. in Hawaii in 1950 were a failure (Davis et al., 1992). 

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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M. semipunctatum can be distinguished from other species of Moneilema by the antennal scape being cylindrical at the apex, reduced lateral pronotal spines and having more than one white antennal segment (Raske, 1966 in Woodruff, 2010; Linsley and Chemsak, 1984). The adults of M. semipunctatum resemble unrelated darkling beetles of the genus Eleodes (Tenebrionidae) in both appearance and behaviour (Raske, 1967; Evans and Hogue, 2006).

Prevention and Control

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Control measures of Moneilema species include hand collection of the adults in the evening or early morning when they are most active, especially after summer rains (Kelly and Olsen, 2008), and burning of infected plants (Woodruff, 1966). 

References

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Badii MH, Flores AE, 2001. Prickly pear cacti pests and their control in Mexico. Florida Entomologist [Cactoblastis cactorum in North America: Proceedings of a workshop for assessment and planning, Tampa, Florida, USA, September 2000], 84(4):503-505.

Bezark LG, 2015. A photographic catalog of the Cerambycidae of the world. California, USA: California Department of Food and Agriculture. https://apps2.cdfa.ca.gov/publicApps/plant/bycidDB/wdefault.asp

Clark WH, Blom PE, Ward DM Jr, 2007. Plant associations for adult Moneilema michelbacheri Linsley (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), including a new host plant record, the Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus gracilis Gates), in Baja California, México. Coleopterists Bulletin, 61(2):294-296.

Coles JJ, 2003. Population biology of Sclerocactus mesae-verdae (Boiss. & Davidson) Benson: 2003 performance report. Denver, Colorado, USA: Colorado Natural Areas Program - Plant Conservation Program.

Coles JJ, Decker KL, Naumann TS, 2012. Ecology and population dynamics of Sclerocactus mesae-verdae (Boissev. & C. Davidson) L.D. Benson. Western North American Naturalist, 72(3):311-322. https://ojs.lib.byu.edu/ojs/index.php/wnan/index

Crosswhite CD, Crosswhite FS, 1985. Trichocereus as a potential nursery crop in southern Arizona, with discussion of the opuntia borer (Cerambycidae: Moneilema gigas) as a serious threat to its cultivation. Desert Plants, 7(4):195-203.

Daerr EG, 2001. A prickly problem. National Parks, 75(1-2):48.

Dameron WH, Smith HP, 1939. Prickly pear eradication and control. Bulletin of Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, No. 575:55 pp.

Davis CJ, Yoshioka E, Kageler D, 1992. Biological control of lantana, prickly pear, and Hamakua pamakani in Hawaii: a review and update. In: Stone CP, Smith CW, Tunison JT, eds. Alien plant invasions in native ecosystems of Hawaii: Management and Research. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA: University of Hawaii Press, 411-431.

Dodd AP, 1927. The biological control of prickly pear. Journal of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Australia, 1(1):48-54.

Dodd AP, 1936. The control and eradication of prickly-pear in Australia. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 27:503-522.

Evans AV, Hogue JN, 2006. Field guide to beetles of California. Berkeley, USA: University of California Press, 336 pp.

Ferguson AW, Williamson PS, 2009. A new host plant record, the endangered star cactus, Astrophytum asterias (Zuccarini) Lemaire, for Moneilema armatum LeConte (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae: Lamiinae). Coleopterists Bulletin, 63(2):218-220.

Gahan AB, 1925. New Encyrtid parasitic in the eggs of Moneilema (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea). Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington, 27(8):167-168.

Gahan AB, 1936. Four new species of Chalcidoidea parasitic on cactus insects. Proceedings of the United States National Museum, 83(2995):481-486.

Hamlin JC, 1926. Biological notes on important Opuntia insects of the United States. Pan-Pacific Entomologist, 2(3):97-105.

Hunter WD, Pratt FC, Mitchell JD, 1912. The principal cactus insects of the United States. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bulletin No. 113:1-71.

Kass RJ, 2001. Mortality of the endangered Wright fishhook cactus (Sclerocactus wrightiae) by an Opuntia-borer beetle (Cerambycidae: Moneilema semipunctatum). Western North American Naturalist, 61(4):495-497.

Kelly J, Olsen MW, 2008. Problems and pests of agave, aloe, cactus and yucca. Arizona Cooperative Extension. Tucson, Arizona, USA: University of Arizona, 9 pp. http://extension.arizona.edu/sites/extension.arizona.edu/files/pubs/az1399.pdf

Ladyman JAR, 2004. Status assessment report for Sclerocactus mesae-verdae (Mesa Verde cactus). Window Rock, Arizona, USA: The Navajo Natural Heritage Program, 108 pp. http://www.nndfw.org/nnhp/docs_reps/scmeve_rpt.pdf

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Original text by:

Angela Whittaker, Oxford, UK

Distribution Maps

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Distribution map Mexico: Present, native, not invasive
Linsley & Chemsak, 1984; Woodruff, 2010Mexico: Present, native, not invasive
Linsley & Chemsak, 1984; Woodruff, 2010USA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the countryUSA
See regional map for distribution within the country
  • = Present, no further details
  • = Evidence of pathogen
  • = Widespread
  • = Last reported
  • = Localised
  • = Presence unconfirmed
  • = Confined and subject to quarantine
  • = See regional map for distribution within the country
  • = Occasional or few reports
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Distribution map (asia)
Distribution map (europe)
Distribution map (africa)
Distribution map (north america) Mexico: Present, native, not invasive
Linsley & Chemsak, 1984; Woodruff, 2010Arizona: Present, few occurrences, native, not invasive
Woodruff, 2010; Linsley & Chemsak, 1984California: Present, native, not invasive
Linsley & Chemsak, 1984; Swift, 2008; Evans & Hogue, 2006; May, 1982; Woodruff, 2010Colorado: Present, few occurrences, native, not invasive
Coles et al., 2012; Utah Ecological Services Field Office, 2010; Woodruff, 2010Idaho: Present, few occurrences, native, not invasive
Linsley & Chemsak, 1984; Woodruff, 2010New Mexico: Present, native, not invasive
Woodruff, 2010Nevada: Present, native, not invasive
Linsley & Chemsak, 1984; Woodruff, 2010Utah: Present, native, not invasive
Linsley & Chemsak, 1984; Woodruff, 2010
Distribution map (central america) Mexico: Present, native, not invasive
Linsley & Chemsak, 1984; Woodruff, 2010
Distribution map (south america)
Distribution map (pacific)