Phoracantha recurva (eucalyptus longhorned borer)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Plant Trade
- Wood Packaging
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Phoracantha recurva Newman, 1840
Preferred Common Name
- eucalyptus longhorned borer
International Common Names
- English: eucalyptus borer; yellow longicorn beetle; yellow phoracantha borer
- Spanish: taladrador del eucalipto
- Portuguese: broca do eucalipto
Local Common Names
- Germany: Bock (Kaefer) Eucalyptus
- PHOARE (Phoracantha recurva)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Coleoptera
- Family: Cerambycidae
- Genus: Phoracantha
- Species: Phoracantha recurva
DescriptionTop of page
The egg is cylindrical with rounded extremities, yellow-white and 2.5 mm long.
The larval body is white, cylindrical and 25-40 mm long. The larvae have strong, dark jaws.
The head, pronotum and ventrites of the adult are reddish-brown to dark reddish-brown. The antennae and legs are yellowish-brown to reddish-brown. The antennae are 1.6 times as long as the body in the males and slightly longer than the body in the females. There are very dense, long, golden hairs arising from the underside of each body segment. The elytra are pale yellow to yellowish-brown with dark reddish-brown to blackish-brown markings. There is a narrow, incomplete zigzag band towards the centre of the elytra, and in most cases this is reduced to a small spot on each elytra. There is a wide fascia towards the tip of the elytra, which is wide at the suture and narrow at the margin. The male is 15-28.8 mm long and the female is 19.5-29.2 mm long (Ivory, 1977; Wang, 1995; Hanks et al., 1998; Paine et al., 2000).
DistributionTop of page P. recurva is native to Australia (all states) and Papua New Guinea. It was introduced into Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Malawi, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia, Uruguay, USA and Zambia.
Distribution TableTop of page
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.Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
Risk of IntroductionTop of page Phoracantha semipunctata and P. recurva probably entered South Africa in freshly cut railway sleepers imported from Australia and were first recorded in 1906 (Cillie and Tribe, 1991). The beetles could have been introduced to Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Uruguay in solid wood packing material (SWPM).
P. recurva is an A2 quarantine pest for EPPO and NAPPO, and it is also of quarantine significance for CPPC and JUNAC.
Countries may require a phytosanitary certificate for Eucalyptus logs. The wood used in SWPM must be free of insect damage and specimens of P. recurva.
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page P. recurva has been detected in several Eucalyptus species, in one 'hybrid' (Eucalyptus grandis x Eucalyptus tereticornis) and in hosts other than Eucalyptus species in South Africa. It has been recorded on Angophora sp. (gum myrtle), Syncarpia sp. (turpentine trees) and Cupressus lindleyi [Cupressus lusitanica] (Kliejunas et al., 2001). Normally this species is found in the same hosts as Phoracantha semipunctata. Di Iorio (2007) lists the hosts of P. recurva in Argentina.
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
Growth StagesTop of page Post-harvest
SymptomsTop of page The symptoms of attack by P. recurva in living trees are yellowing of the crown and apical dieback. The symptoms in the stems are resination, debarking and oval emergence holes, which appear through the bark. The presence of galls under the bark, which contain larvae and frass, is a symptom of P. recurva damage (Ferari Fontecilla and Ramirez Grez, 1998).
The larvae bore through or under the bark and mine along the cambium of stressed trees. They make irregular or parallel galleries that are tightly packed with frass. A single gallery may be 1.5 m long. When mature, the larva bores into the sapwood and then it constructs a vertical pupal chamber in the heartwood (Wang, 1995; Bianchi et al., 2000).
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Stems / galls|
|Stems / gummosis or resinosis|
|Stems / internal feeding|
|Stems / visible frass|
|Whole plant / discoloration|
|Whole plant / frass visible|
|Whole plant / internal feeding|
|Whole plant / plant dead; dieback|
Biology and EcologyTop of page P. recurva attacks stems and large branches that are dying or have recently died from other causes, or newly felled trees. Increasingly attacks are being observed on living trees, particularly when they are stressed by drought (Ivory, 1977; Farrow, 1996; Paine and Millar, 2002). If the trees are not resistant to drought, the stands are inadequately thinned, or if the irrigation scheduling fails, the pest attack can be serious; for example, in blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) or flooded gum (Eucalyptus grandis) trees that are planted in dry areas (Farrow, 1996). The life cycle in South Africa involves two, partially overlapping generations. The adults are present between September and November (spring), and February and March (late summer) (Kliejunas et al., 2001). In California and Australia, the life cycle is annual. P. recurva emerge in the early spring and fly to freshly cut timber or stressed trees to mate and lay their eggs in bark crevices or branch stubs (Wang, 1995; Paine et al., 2000). The eggs are laid in clusters of 10-40 eggs and hatch in 6 to 15 days, depending on the ambient temperature (Ivory, 1977). The larvae bore under and through the bark, and make irregular or parallel galleries that are packed with frass. The larva is the most common stage found during the winter and its development takes from 4 to 6 months. It reaches maturity by the spring, when it constructs a vertical pupal chamber into the heartwood and an exit hole that is plugged with frass. The pupal stage lasts about 10 days (Ivory, 1977; Loyttyniemi, 1983; Wang, 1995; Farrow, 1996; Paine et al., 2000; Kliejunas et al., 2001). The adults live for up to 96 days. The adults are nocturnal and feed at night. They hide under loose bark during the day. The beetles occur during all months of the year, with an increase in numbers from August to November and in the late summer (February to April) in South Africa. The complete life cycle lasts from 208 to 355 days. There are one, two or three generations per year (Ivory, 1977; Loyttyniemi, 1983; Wang, 1995; Farrow, 1996; Paine et al., 2000; Kliejunas et al., 2001). Bybee et al. (2004) studied the seasonal development of P. recurva and P. semipunctata in California, USA. Differences in developmental parameters were thought to contribute to the replacement of P. semipunctata by P. recurva in their shared habitat niche in southern California.
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page The use of specific natural enemies is usually the best long-term solution to control exotic pests. The egg parasite, Avetianella longoi, is native to Australia and is the most important parasitic wasp used to control P. recurva. However, results obtained in California suggest that it may be less effective against P. recurva than Phoracantha semipunctata. This parasitoid was introduced into South Africa, USA and Chile to control introduced P. recurva and P. semipunctata (Paine et al., 2000). Tribe (2003) reviewed the progress made in the biological control of forestry pests including Phoracantha spp. in Africa. He provided details on the introduction of A. longoi to South Africa and noted that it is more effective against P. semipuncata than P. recurva, as reported in California.
The larval parasitoids, Syngaster lepidus, Jarra phoracantha, Jarra maculipennis and Callibracon limbatus were introduced from Australia to California for the biological control of P. recurva. However, there is no evidence to suggest that S. lepidus or J. phoracantha have become permanently established (Millar et al., 2000; Paine et al., 2000; Paine and Millar, 2003).
The braconid, Iphiaulax sp. was recorded in South Africa but in a low density (Ivory, 1977). Megalyra fasciipennis is a larval parasitoid that was introduced to South Africa in 1910 and rediscovered in 1993 when parasitism reached 50% (Moore, 1993).
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page In international trade or regional trade, the eggs, larvae, pupae and adults of P. recurva can be transported in logs, solid wood packing material (SWPM) or saw timber. It has recently been introduced into countries in the northern and southern hemispheres, indicating that it can survive in its hosts even if the material is drying out. Shipments of logs are a primary pathway for transporting wood borers. Another important pathway is in green untreated lumber, especially if this material has large dimensions and the wood does not rapidly dry out. Untreated SWPM has been identified as a high-risk pathway in international trade. Low-quality wood is frequently used for making crates, pallets and other SWPM (Iede et al., 2000).
The adults can fly and natural dispersal occurs by this means. Once established in its new environment, P. recurva can spread very rapidly as has been observed in California, USA and South Africa (Kliejunas et al., 2001).
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Bark||adults; eggs; larvae||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||adults; eggs; larvae; pupae||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Wood||adults; eggs; larvae; pupae||Yes||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Fruits (inc. pods)|
|True seeds (inc. grain)|
Wood PackagingTop of page
|Wood Packaging liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Timber type||Used as packing|
|Solid wood packing material with bark||Eucalyptus||Yes|
|Solid wood packing material without bark||Eucalyptus||Yes|
|Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Loose wood packing material|
|Processed or treated wood|
ImpactTop of page P. recurva attacks sickly trees or newly felled trees in its native region but attacks living trees where it has been introduced. It is considered to be a problem in areas with a water deficit, because the association between P. recurva and Eucalyptus plantations, under drought, causes tree losses. Many of the hosts grow in areas where moisture content availability is a problem, particularly during the summer, and drought increases their susceptibility to attack.
P. recurva is not a problem in Chile but the Eucalyptus plantations are still monitored. This is particularly important because 44% of the plantations are held by owners of small to medium sized properties who would be unable to control a serious outbreak due to economic restrictions (Lanfranco and Dungey, 2001).
Eucalyptus trees in Zambia were seriously damaged and this was associated with the severe droughts of 1972 and 1973. Between October 1973 and September 1974, tree mortality was 34% for five-year-old Eucalyptus grandis and 29% for six-year-old Eucalyptus cloeziana. Most of the mortality resulted from the combined effects of drought and attack by P. recurva and Phoracantha semipunctata. Some of the tree mortality was caused by drought alone (Ivory, 1977).
Detection and InspectionTop of page The first symptoms in living trees are discoloration and apical dieback. It is important to inspect the stems for resination, debarking and oval emergence holes, which appear through the bark. The holes indicate the emergence of the adult and stem debarking exposes the galls and frass (Ferari Fontecilla and Ramirez Grez, 1998). The Eucalyptus stem must be inspected in quarantine, in imported logs as well as in solid wood packing material. A gall containing frass is one of the main signs of activity of P. recurva and is consequently something to look for in quarantine.
In the field, a sampling method for monitoring P. recurva egg-lay in Eucalyptus plantations involves attaching strips of shed Eucalyptus bark (40 mm x 80 mm) to a freshly felled log, using drawing pins (Cillie and Tribe, 1991). The eggs are laid between the bark strips and the log, which makes counting in the laboratory an easy task.
Countries importing Eucalyptus logs from regions where this borer is present may require a phytosanitary certificate.
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page P. recurva and Phoracantha semipunctata are very similar. The chaetotaxy is dense on the antennal segments of P. recurva adults. The elytra are mostly cream to yellowish with dark brown areas primarily limited to the rear third of the elytra. The hind femora has strong, dense spines on the front dorsal side (Wang, 1995; Hanks et al., 1998).
The wings of P. semipunctata are mostly dark brown, with a zigzag line bisecting a cream area in the middle of the elytra. The bases of the elytra are black and yellow, and are an inverted U-shape. The hairs are absent or scattered on the antennal segments of P. semipunctata (Hanks et al., 1998).
P. semipunctata larvae have temples with a broad ferruginous cuneiform band behind the bases of the antennae. The supra-ocellar area has seven setae, three of which point towards the pronotum. The tenth abdominal tergite has a uniform setose area with distinctly central setae at each median lobe.
In P. recurva, a broad ferruginous cuneiform band is absent on the temples behind the bases of the antennae. The supra-ocellar area has five setae. The tenth abdominal tergite has less chaetotaxy and a pair of long setae in the border of the median lobe (Bianchi et al., 2000; Morelli et al., 2002). See Bianchi et al. (2000) and Morelli et al. (2002) for the differences between the mature larvae of P. recurva and P. semipunctata.
The biology and life histories of P. recurva and P. semipunctata are subtly different. In California, 4 years after its introduction, P. recurva has largely replaced P. semipunctata. In mixed populations, the proportion of P. recurva increased from 0.1% in 1995 to 74% in 1997 (Paine et al., 2000).
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.Chemical insecticides are ineffective against these borers. The removal of infected trees and the prevention of drought stress, through the appropriate management of Eucalyptus plantations, are measures used to effectively control P. recurva. Management programmes have focused on the integration of silvicultural practices, host plant resistance and biological control (Luhring et al., 2000; Paine et al., 2000; Millar et al., 2002).
The kiln-drying of lumber and solid wood packing material, can be used to avoid insect introduction through international trade. Also, the certification and debarking of Eucalyptus logs may reduce the risk of introduction.
ReferencesTop of page
Bercedo PP; Bahillo PP, 1999. Primera cita para Europa de Phoracantha recurva Newman, 1840 (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) Estudios del Museo de Ciencias Naturales de -lava, 14:169-174.
Bianchi M; Morelli E; Sanchez A, 2000. The morphology of the imature stages of Phoracantha recurva Newman 1840 (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and a key to larvae of the species of Phoracantha in Uruguay. In: Proceedings of the XXI International Congress of Entomology, Foz do Iguassu, Brazil, 460.
Bianchi M; Sánchez A, 2007. Biology of Phoracantha recurva Newman and Phoracantha semipunctata Fabricius (Coleoptera: Cerambyicidae) reared on Eucalyptus ssp. globulus under laboratory conditions. (Biología de Phoracantha recurva Newman y Phoracantha semipunctata Fabricius (Coleoptera: Cerambyicidae) en laboratorio sobre dieta natural: Eucalyptus ssp. globulus.) Boletín de Sanidad Vegetal, Plagas, 33(1):71-78.
Bybee LF; Millar JG; Paine TD; Campbell K; Hanlon CC, 2004. Seasonal development of Phoracantha recurva and P. semipunctata (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in Southern California. Environmental Entomology, 33(5):1232-1241. http://www.esa.catchword.org
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
Farrow RA, 1996. Insect pests of eucalypts on farmland and in plantations in south-eastern Australia. Australia: CSIRO. 60pp.
Ferari Fontecilla L; Ramirez Grez O, 1998. Manual de deteccion y control de plagas y enfermedades presentes y potenciales en plantaciones de pino y eucalipto. Concepci=n, Chile: Editora Anibal Pinto.
Haddan M; Lieutier F, 2005. Comparison of the length of the life cycle, population abundance and fecundity of Phoracantha semipunctata Fabricius and P. recurva Newman, two xylophagous pests of eucalyptus in Morocco. In: Entomological research in Mediterranean forest ecosystems [ed. by Lieutier F, Ghaioule D] Versailles, France: INRA Editions, 209-217.
Hanks LM; Paine TD; Millar JG; Campbell CD, 1998. Another tree killing pest of eucalyptus invades California. California Plant Pest and Disease Report, 16:19-21.
Ivory MH, 1977. Preliminary investigations of the pests of exotic forest trees in Zambia. Commonwealth Forestry Review, 56:47-56.
Kliejunas JT; Tkacz BM; Burdsall HHJr; DeNitto GA; Eglitis A; Haugen DA; Wallner WE, 2001. Pest risk assessment of the importation into the United States of unprocessed Eucalyptus logs and chips from South America. General Technical Report - Forest Products Laboratory, USDA Forest Service, No. FPL-GTR-124:viii + 134 pp.
Luhring KA; Paine TD; Millar JG; Hanks LM, 2000. Suitability of the eggs of two species of eucalyptus longhorned borers (Phoracantha recurva and P. semipunctata) as hosts for the encyrtid parasitoid Avetianella longoi. Biological Control, 19(2):95-104; 36 ref.
Millar JG; Hanks LM; Paine TD, 2000. Biological control of coleopteran pests of eucalyptus in California. In: Proceedings of the XXI International Congress of Entomology, Foz do Iguassu, Brazil, 476.
Millar JG; Paine TD; Campbell CD; Hanks LM, 2002. Methods for rearing Syngaster lepidus and Jarra phoracantha (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), larval parasitoids of the phloem-colonizing longhorned beetles Phoracantha semipunctata and P. recurva (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research, 92(2):141-146; 35 ref.
Miquel ME, 2008. The presence of Phoracantha recurva (Newman) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in France and how to differentiate it from P. semipunctata. British Journal of Entomology and Natural History, 21(3):193-194. http://www.benhs.org.uk
Morelli E; Bianchi M; Sanchez A, 2002. The immature stages of Phoracantha recurva Newman, 1842 and Phoracantha semipunctata Fabricius, 1775 (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae) and a key to larvae of these species. Brazilian Journal of Biology, 62(4B):853-860; 6 ref.
Paine TD; Millar; JG, 2003. Biological control of introduced pests of eucalyptus in California. In: The Bugwood Network, eds. Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Biological Control of Arthropods, USDA, 66-71. Retrieved November, 5, 2003 from http://www.bugwood.org/arthropod/day1/paine.pdf.
Palmeri V; Campolo O, 2006. On the presence of Phoracantha recurva Newman and Phoracantha semipunctata F. (Coleoptera Cerambycidae) in Calabria. (Sulla presenza di Phoracantha recurva Newman e Phoracantha semipunctata F. (Coleoptera Cerambycidae) in Calabria.) Bollettino di Zoologia Agraria e di Bachicoltura, 38(3):251-254.
Perez Moreno I, 2001. Plagas introducidas em Espa±a peninsular em la segunda mitad del siglo XX. ARACNET, rev. elect. entom., 4 [Boletin electonico on line] Disponible desde Internet en: http://entomologia.rediris.es/aracnet/num4/entomap/index.htm [Con acceso el 19 de Octobre de 2003].
Silva EJE, 2002. Phoracantha recurva Newman 1840 (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) um novo inseto para o eucalipto no Brasil. In: Anais do XXIV Congresso Brasileiro de Zoologia, UNIVALE, Itajaf, Brasil, 145.
Tribe GD, 2003. Biological control of defoliating and phloem- or wood-feeding insects in commercial forestry in Southern Africa. In: Neuenschwander P, Borgemeister C, Langewald J, eds. Biological control in IPM systems in Africa. Wallingford, UK: CAB International, 113-129.
Wang Q, 1995. A taxonomic revision of the Australian genus Phoracantha Newman (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Invertebrate Taxonomy, 9:865-958.
Özdi?kmen H; C¸ag?lar Ü, 2004. Contribution to the knowledge of longhorned beetles (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae) from Turkey, subfamilies Prioninae, Lepturinae, Spondylidinae and Cerambycinae. Journal of the Entomological Research Society, 6(1):39-69.
Bianchi M, Morelli E, Sanchez A, 2000. The morphology of the imature stages of Phoracantha recurva Newman 1840 (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and a key to larvae of the species of Phoracantha in Uruguay. [Proceedings of the XXI International Congress of Entomology, Foz do Iguassu, Brazil], 460.
CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Haddan M, Lieutier F, 2005. Comparison of the length of the life cycle, population abundance and fecundity of Phoracantha semipunctata Fabricius and P. recurva Newman, two xylophagous pests of eucalyptus in Morocco. In: Entomological research in Mediterranean forest ecosystems. [ed. by Lieutier F, Ghaioule D]. Versailles, France: INRA Editions. 209-217.
Hanks LM, Paine TD, Millar JG, Campbell CD, 1998. Another tree killing pest of eucalyptus invades California. In: California Plant Pest and Disease Report, 16 19-21.
Kliejunas J T, Tkacz B M, Burdsall H H Jr, DeNitto G A, Eglitis A, Haugen D A, Wallner W E, 2001. General Technical Report - Forest Products Laboratory, USDA Forest Service, Madison, USA: USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. viii + 134 pp.
Miquel M E, 2008. The presence of Phoracantha recurva (Newman) (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) in France and how to differentiate it from P. semipunctata. British Journal of Entomology and Natural History. 21 (3), 193-194. http://www.benhs.org.uk
Morelli E, Bianchi M, Sanchez A, 2002. The immature stages of Phoracantha recurva Newman, 1842 and Phoracantha semipunctata Fabricius, 1775 (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae) and a key to larvae of these species. Brazilian Journal of Biology. 62 (4B), 853-860. DOI:10.1590/S1519-69842002000500015
Palmeri V, Campolo O, 2006. On the presence of Phoracantha recurva Newman and Phoracantha semipunctata F. (Coleoptera Cerambycidae) in Calabria. (Sulla presenza di Phoracantha recurva Newman e Phoracantha semipunctata F. (Coleoptera Cerambycidae) in Calabria.). Bollettino di Zoologia Agraria e di Bachicoltura. 38 (3), 251-254.
Perez Moreno I, 2001. (Plagas introducidas em Espa±a peninsular em la segunda mitad del siglo XX). In: ARACNET, rev. elect. entom. http://entomologia.rediris.es/aracnet/num4/entomap/index.htm
Silva EJE, 2002. (Phoracantha recurva Newman 1840 (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) um novo inseto para o eucalipto no Brasil). [Anais do XXIV Congresso Brasileiro de Zoologia, UNIVALE, Itajaf, Brasil], 145.
Distribution MapsTop of page
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