Xylosandrus compactus (shot-hole borer)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Species Vectored
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Plant Trade
- Wood Packaging
- Impact Summary
- Impact: Biodiversity
- Threatened Species
- Risk and Impact Factors
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Xylosandrus compactus (Eichhoff, 1875)
Preferred Common Name
- shot-hole borer
Other Scientific Names
- Xyleborus compactus Eichhoff
- Xyleborus morstatti Hagedorn, 1912
- Xylosandrus morstatti (Hagedorn)
International Common Names
- English: black coffee borer; black coffee twig borer; black twig borer; tea stem borer
- French: scolyte des rameaux du caféier; scolyte noir des rameaux; scolyte noir du caféier
Local Common Names
- Germany: Bohrer, Schwarzer Kaffeezweig-; Schwarzer Zweigbohrer an Kaffee
- Netherlands: takkenboeboek; zwarte takkenboeboek
Summary of InvasivenessTop of page
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Coleoptera
- Family: Scolytidae
- Genus: Xylosandrus
- Species: Xylosandrus compactus
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
DescriptionTop of page
The egg of X. compactus is about 0.3 mm wide and 0.5 mm long. It is white and ovoid with a smooth surface (Hara and Beardsley, 1979). The incubation period varies from 3 to 5 days with over 80% of eggs hatching after 4 days (Hara and Beardsley, 1979).
The mature larva is about 2.0 mm long. The body is creamy white with a pale-brown head. It has no legs. The mean head width of final-instar larvae is about 0.36 mm (Ngoan et al., 1976). A detailed description of the larva has not been published.
The pupae are illustrated by Hara and Beardsley (1979). The body of the pupa is creamy white and exarate. It is about the same length as the adult.
Bright (1968) provided a brief description of the female and male of X. compactus. The adult females are dark brown to almost black, 1.4-1.9 mm long and about two times longer than wide. The front of the head is convex, with a weak transverse impression just above the mouthparts. The antennal funicle is five-segmented, and the antennal club is obliquely truncate, about 1.2 times longer than wide. The pronotum, viewed from above, is subcircular. The anterior margin of the pronotum is broadly rounded, with 6-8 (sometimes 10) distinct, equal-sized serrations. The anterior half of the pronotum is finely asperate whereas the posterior portion is smooth with distinct, shallow punctures. The elytra are 1.1 times longer than wide, convex and steeply declivitous posteriorly. The strial punctures on the elytra are distinctly impressed, about equal in size to those between the striae. Each interstria bears a row of long setae, these are about two times longer than the interstrial width. The steeply convex, posterior portion of the elytra is similar to the remaining portion of the elytra.
The small, wingless males are about 0.8-1.1 mm long and two times longer than wide. The pronotum is narrowly rounded in front without serrations. The anterior portion of the pronotum is flattened and slightly concave in the median portion and the asperities are very low, almost obsolete.The elytral striae and interstrial are irregularly punctured.
A partial list of illustrations of the adult is given in Wood and Bright (1992) and Bright and Skidmore (1997).
Wood (1982) provided a key to species of Xylosandrus found in North and Central America, including X. compactus.
DistributionTop of page
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: 30 Jun 2021
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Central African Republic||Present||Introduced||Invasive|
|Congo, Democratic Republic of the||Present|
|Congo, Republic of the||Present||Introduced||Invasive|
|Spain||Present, Transient under eradication|
|-Balearic Islands||Present, Transient under eradication|
|British Virgin Islands||Present||Introduced||Invasive|
|U.S. Virgin Islands||Present||Introduced||Invasive|
|United States||Present, Localized|
|New Zealand||Absent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)|
|Papua New Guinea||Present||Introduced||Invasive|
|Solomon Islands||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Original citation: Bigger, 1985|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
The main economic host of X. compactus is coffee (especially Coffea canephora robusta, also Coffea arabica). In Japan, X. compactus is a pest of tea (Kaneko et al., 1965). X. compactus is also a pest of avocado and cocoa in South-East Asia and elsewhere (Kalshoven, 1958; Browne, 1961; Beaver, 1976; Waterhouse, 1997; Nair, 2000; Matsumoto, 2002). In India, X. compactus is reported as infesting and killing the seedlings and saplings of Khaya grandifoliola, and Khaya senegalensis, shade trees in coffee plantations (Meshram et al., 1993); in Africa, Erythrina sp. and Melia azedarach (Le Pelley, 1968). Attacks on seedlings and young plantations of a variety of forest trees can be severe (Browne, 1968; Intachat and Kirton, 1997). In addition to the large range of dicotyledonous trees and shrubs, it will sometimes attack both monocotyledonous plants, such as orchids and gingers, and conifers (Hara and Beardsley, 1979). Its attacks can also endanger rare native trees (Ziegler, 2001, 2002).
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
Growth StagesTop of page
SymptomsTop of page
X. compactus is one of the few species of ambrosia beetles that can attack and kill live twigs and branches. Most of the other species of ambrosia beetles primarily attack newly felled, stressed, dead or dying trees and shrubs. Apparently, the pathogenic action of the ambrosia fungus, Fusarium solani to the host plant enables X. compactus to attack live plants. The pathogenic action of F. solani to woody host plants has been proven by pure culture isolates of F. solani from discoloured vascular tissues of a large number of host species (Dixon and Woodruff, 1982).
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Leaves / necrotic areas|
|Leaves / wilting|
|Stems / internal feeding|
|Stems / necrosis|
|Whole plant / plant dead; dieback|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
Only the adult females initiate the attack on the host plants. X. compactus is mainly a borer of seedlings, shoots and small twigs, but it will also breed in cut branches and poles up to a diameter of about 6 cm, rarely in larger material (Browne, 1961). Attacks in the tap root of seedlings have been noted in West Africa (Entwistle, 1972), but such attacks are more likely to be caused by the related species, Xylosandrus morigerus. On cocoa seedlings in Nigeria, attacks were most abundant 20-40 cm above ground level, and on stems of 6-10 mm diameter (Entwistle, 1972). The female constructs an entrance tunnel into the pith or wood of the host to a depth of 1-3 cm. The tunnel system consists of a simple or bifurcated entrance tunnel, and a longitudinal chamber or irregular tunnel where a loose cluster of eggs is deposited (Browne, 1961; Entwistle, 1972). One or more females may occupy a twig or branch. Generally, there is only one female if the twig diameter is less than 7 mm, but up to 20 females may be found on branches of diameter 8-22 mm.
Entwistle (1964) and Takenouchi and Tagaki (1967) report arrhenotokous parthenogenesis in X. compactus. Unmated females produce an all-male brood, but such broods are rare (Brader, 1964; Entwistle, 1972). Hara and Beardsley (1979) found seven all-male broods out of 416 examined.
The size of the brood varies considerably. Browne (1961) found that in peninsular Malaysia, broods rarely exceeded 10 individuals, and in the Seychelles, the largest brood that was observed by Brown (1954) included two eggs and seven larvae. Chevalier (1931) reported broods of 30-50 individuals in tropical Africa. In one gallery system in Fiji, 26 individuals of all instars were found (Lever, 1938). Entwistle (1972) found a mean of 12.3 offspring in field-collected galleries, but the number could occasionally exceed 60. The larvae feed on an ambrosia fungus growing on the walls of the gallery.
The pupation and mating of brood adults occurs in the infested material; the (usually) single male in each gallery mating with his sisters. The brood adults emerge through the entrance holes made by the parent beetles. In tropical Africa, Lavabre (1958, 1959) found that oviposition began 7-8 days after the parent female began her gallery. The egg stage lasted 4-5 days, larval development took 11 days, 7 days were spent in the pupal stage and the teneral adults remained in the gallery system for another 6 days before emerging. Thus about 37 days were required from the time the female first began boring into the branch until sexual maturity of the next generation. Ngoan et al. (1976) found that approximately 28 days (at 25°C) were required for development from egg to adult. According to Ngoan et al. (1976) and Hara and Beardsley (1979), there are two larval instars. The ratio of females to males varies, but is usually approximately 9:1 (Entwistle, 1972; Hara and Beardsley, 1979).
In Japan, there are normally two generations per year, and adult females overwinter, but in most parts of the range, breeding is continuous, with overlapping generations, so that the species is active at all times, and in all stages of development (Browne, 1968).
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Callimerus||Predator||Adults; Eggs; Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Nymphs; Arthropods|Pupae|
|Tetrastichus sp. nr. xylebororum||Parasite||Arthropods|Larvae|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
Several studies of the natural enemies of X. compactus have been made in India. Sreedharan et al. (1992) reported that larvae of the clerid coleopteran Callimerus sp. were found in over 4% of the gallery systems of X. compactus. Although the predator feeds on all stages of the scolytid, it prefers feeding on the larvae. In India, Eupelmus sp. was found in nearly 8% of the branches of robusta coffee examined (Balakrishnan et al., 1989). The larvae of this eupelmid act as predators when several ambrosia beetle larvae are available. The incidence of parasitism ranged from 1.3% in January to nearly 21% in September. In Java, the eulophid Tetrastichus xylebororum parasitizes both this species and Xylosandrus morigerus (Le Pelley, 1968), a related species recorded from India (Dhanam et al., 1992), and a further species of Tetrastichus from Hawaii (Tenbrink and Hara, 1994). Le Pelley (1968) mentioned an undescribed bethylid ectoparasitoid of X. compactus larvae, and the bethylid, Prorops nasuta, a well-known parasite of the coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei, has been recorded attacking X. compactus in West Africa (Brader, 1964). However, parasitism is not normally an important cause of mortality in Xylosandrus species.
One species of entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana, was found infecting X. compactus in India (Balakrishnan et al., 1994) and has also been recorded in West Africa (Brader, 1964).
During gallery establishment, the adults are frequently attacked by ants (Lavabre, 1962; Brader, 1964). Brader (1964) noted attacks by Oecophylla longinoda in Côte d'Ivoire, and similar attacks by Oecophylla smaragdina occur in South-East Asia. Lizards and clerid beetles prey on the adults of ambrosia beetles, such as Xylosandrus as the latter attempt to bore into the host tree.
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
The adult females fly readily, and flight is one the main means of movement and dispersal to previously uninfected areas. Entwistle (1972) found that adult females dispersed at least 200 m, and it is likely that dispersal over several kilometres is possible, especially if wind-aided. However, of more importance for long distance movement is the transport of infested seedlings, saplings or cut branches.
The female has a mycangium, a pouch used to carry spores of the ambrosia fungus on which both adult and larvae feed, opening between the pronotum and mesonotum, and extending below the pronotum (Beaver, 1989). The ambrosia fungus of X. compactus has been variously identified by different researchers. Brader (1964) described it as Ambrosiella xylebori in Côte d'Ivoire. Bhat and Sreedharan (1988) agreed, but Muthappa and Venkatasubbaiah (1981) suggested that in India, the ambrosia fungus is Ambrosiella macrospora. In North America, the fungus has been identified as Fusarium solani (Ngoan et al., 1976; Hara and Beardsley, 1979). It is possible that A. xylebori is a pleomorphic form of F. solani (Hara and Beardsley, 1979). The records of Cladosporium cladosporioides and Penicillium pallidum [Geosmithia putterillii] (Brown, 1954) from X. compactus galleries in the Seychelles are of secondary saprophytic fungi (Schedl, 1963). Ambrosiella spp. are not known to be pathogenic, although they do cause staining of the wood around the gallery systems. However, F. solani is well known as a plant pathogen, and its pathogenicity to host plants of X. compactus has been confirmed (Hara and Beardsley, 1979; Dixon and Woodruff, 1983). Entwistle (1972) noted that fungal attack always follows gallery formation. In West Africa, the fungi Botryodiplodia theobromae [Lasiodiplodia theobromae] and Calonectria rigidiuscula [Nectria rigidiuscula] (the perfect stage of Fusarium decemcellulare), both of which are wound parasites of weak pathogenicity, are involved (Entwistle, 1972).
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||arthropods/adults||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Seedlings/Micropropagated plants||arthropods/adults; arthropods/eggs; arthropods/larvae; arthropods/pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||arthropods/adults; arthropods/eggs; arthropods/larvae; arthropods/pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Wood||arthropods/adults; arthropods/eggs; arthropods/larvae; arthropods/pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Fruits (inc. pods)|
|Growing medium accompanying plants|
|True seeds (inc. grain)|
Wood PackagingTop of page
|Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Loose wood packing material|
|Processed or treated wood|
|Solid wood packing material with bark|
|Solid wood packing material without bark|
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||None|
ImpactTop of page
Impact: BiodiversityTop of page
Threatened SpeciesTop of page
|Threatened Species||Conservation Status||Where Threatened||Mechanism||References||Notes|
|Cyanea calycina||CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Herbivory/grazing/browsing||US Fish and Wildlife Service (2012)|
|Cyanea lanceolata (lanceleaf cyanea)||USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Herbivory/grazing/browsing||US Fish and Wildlife Service (2012)|
|Doryopteris takeuchii (Takeuch's lipfern)||NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Herbivory/grazing/browsing||US Fish and Wildlife Service (2012)|
|Flueggea neowawraea (mehamehame)||CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Pathogenic|
|Melicope christophersenii||EN (IUCN red list: Endangered); NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Pathogenic||US Fish and Wildlife Service (2012)|
|Melicope hiiakae||NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Poisoning||US Fish and Wildlife Service (2012)|
|Melicope makahae||EN (IUCN red list: Endangered); NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Pollen swamping||US Fish and Wildlife Service (2012)|
|Plantago princeps||NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Pest and disease transmission||US Fish and Wildlife Service (2010)|
|Santalum freycinetianum var. lanaiense||No Details||Hawaii||Herbivory/grazing/browsing||US Fish and Wildlife Service (2011)|
|Schiedea nuttallii||CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species||Hawaii||Pest and disease transmission||US Fish and Wildlife Service (1999); US Fish and Wildlife Service (2009)|
|Serianthes nelsonii||CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species||Guam; Northern Mariana Islands||Pest and disease transmission||US Fish and Wildlife Service (1994)|
Risk and Impact FactorsTop of page
- Pest and disease transmission
- Pollen swamping
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.
The decision to use chemical control is influenced by environmental concerns and the difficulties of applying chemicals to the concealed habitats in which X. compactus feeds. Mangold et al. (1977) reported that when chlorpyrifos was applied with a hand sprayer to individual twigs of flowering dogwood in Florida, USA, there was 77% mortality of all stages of the beetle. In subsequent field studies, hydraulic sprays of chlorpyrifos killed 83-92% of all beetle stages per infested twig. Bambara (2003) suggested the use of chlorpyrifos, permethrin or bifenthrin. Yan et al. (2001) used quinalphos or chlorypyrifos plus cypermethrin mixed with yellow soil and painted it on the main stem of young chestnut trees, and reported good control.
Material that is infested with X. compactus should be pruned and destroyed. Where practicable, this is perhaps the most effective method of control, but it may not be economic (Le Pelley, 1968). Practices that promote tree vigour and health will aid recovery from beetle damage (Dixon and Woodruff, 1982; Bambara, 2003). Entwistle (1972) noted the attraction of X. compactus to cocoa seedlings with overhead shade, and with a growing ground cover, but he pointed out that shade may be essential for seedling establishment, and that its removal may also render the plant more susceptible to other pests. In Malaysia, Anuar (1986) found that when growing robusta and Liberian coffee under shaded and unshaded conditions, only robusta showed damage caused by X. compactus. The frequency and severity of damage was significantly higher on shaded than on unshaded trees.
X. compactus is "singularly free from attack by parasites and predators" (Entwistle, 1972). In Africa, there are no effective parasites of X. compactus (Brader, 1964). Parasites are known in Indonesia and Le Pelley (1968) suggested that they have "an appreciable effect from time to time". The entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana, causes some mortality in X. compactus and its potential usefulness is being investigated (Balakrishnan et al., 1994). However, biological control methods seem unlikely to be effective for X. compactus.
ReferencesTop of page
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