Xylosandrus germanus (black timber bark beetle)
- Summary of Invasiveness
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- History of Introduction and Spread
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Plant Trade
- Wood Packaging
- Impact Summary
- Impact: Biodiversity
- 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
- Xylosandrus germanus (Blandford)
Preferred Common Name
- black timber bark beetle
Other Scientific Names
- Xyleborus germanus Blandford
- Xyleborus orbatus Blandford
International Common Names
- English: smaller alnus bark beetle; tea root borer
- French: petit scolyte noir du Japon; xylebore germanique; xylebore japonique
Local Common Names
- Germany: Borkenkaefer, Japanischer Nutzholz-; Borkenkaefer, Schwarzer Nutzholz-; Japanischer Nutzholzborkenkäfer; Schwarzer Nutzholzborkenkäfer
- Japan: hannoki-kikuimushi; Han-no-kikuimusi
- XYLBGE (Xylosandrus germanus)
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 germanus
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
DescriptionTop of page
Adult female: 2.0-2.3 mm long, 2.3 times as long as wide. Frons broadly convex, minutely reticulate, sparsely punctured, the punctures with fine, moderately long hairs. Pronotum subcircular, as long as wide, anterior margin with 8-10 low asperities, summit slightly behind middle, anterior slope coarsely asperate, posterior areas smooth, with a few minute punctures, a tuft of fine hairs at the median basal margin, remaining vestiture sparse. Scutellum large, flat, filling sutural notch, flush with surface. Elytra 1.3 times longer than wide, 1.4 times as long as pronotum, shining, sides almost straight and parallel on basal three-fourths, broadly rounded behind; striae not impressed, punctures small, rather shallow, without setae; interstriae smooth, shining, punctures uniseriate, more widely spaced, granulate; declivity commencing slightly behind middle, rather steep, broadly convex, the ventrolateral margin acutely elevated from apex to interstriae 7, interstrial setae longer than on disc.
Adult male: Males are rare, and very occasionally found outside the gallery system. Generally resembling female, but much smaller and more weakly sclerotised, 1.3-1.8 mm long, 2.0 times as wide as long. Frons shining, with weak, scattered punctures, median longitudinal line weakly elevated. Pronotum broadly rounded anteriorly, lacking asperities on the margin, anterior slope with numerous small asperities, shining posteriorly and impunctate. Elytra 1.5 times as long as wide, striae and interstriae seriate-punctate, the punctures larger on the disc than at the sides; declivity less convex, impressed along apico-lateral margins.
Egg: White, translucent, shiny, ellipsoidal, about 0.67 mm long and 0.38 mm wide (Hoffmann, 1941).
Larva: The larva is described by Weber (1982; see Weber and McPherson, 1982). There is a photograph of a larva in Hoffmann (1941). There are three larval instars (Weber and McPherson, 1983c).
Pupa: The pupa has not been described. There is a photograph of a pupa in Hoffmann (1941).
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|
|-Sichuan||Present||Native||Original citation: Yin et al., 1984|
|-Honshu||Present, Few occurrences||Native|
|Federal Republic of Yugoslavia||Present||Introduced||Invasive|
|-Russian Far East||Present||Native||1998|
|-Southern Russia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||First reported: 1939-1941; Original citation: Mandelshtam, 2001|
|Slovenia||Present, Few occurrences|
|Sweden||Present, Few occurrences|
|Ukraine||Present, Few occurrences|
|-England||Present, Localized||South-east England|
|-British Columbia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||First reported: 1995-1998|
|-Nova Scotia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Original citation: Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 2005|
|-Quebec||Present||Introduced||2000||Invasive||Original citation: Bright & Skidmore, 2002|
|United States||Present||Introduced||Invasive||First reported: pre-1932|
|-California||Absent, Intercepted only||Original citation: Weber & McPherson, 1982|
|-Delaware||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Original citation: Rabaglia & Valenti, 2003|
|-Georgia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Original citation: Weber & McPherson, 1982|
|-Maine||Present||Introduced||2004||Invasive||Original citation: Crowe, 2005|
|-Maryland||Present||Introduced||Invasive||First reported: pre-1971; Original citation: Staines, 1984|
|-Michigan||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Original citation: Weber & McPherson, 1982|
|-New Jersey||Present||Introduced||Invasive||First reported: pre-1941|
|-Ohio||Present||Introduced||Invasive||First reported: pre-1941|
|-Oregon||Present||Introduced||1999||Invasive||Original citation: LaBonte et al., 2005|
|-South Carolina||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Original citation: Weber & McPherson, 1982|
|-West Virginia||Present||Introduced||Invasive||First reported: pre-1941|
|New Zealand||Absent, Intercepted only||Original citation: Brockerhoff et al., 2003|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
HabitatTop of page
Habitat ListTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
Growth StagesTop of page
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Leaves / wilting|
|Leaves / yellowed or dead|
|Roots / internal feeding|
|Stems / canker on woody stem|
|Stems / dieback|
|Stems / gummosis or resinosis|
|Stems / internal discoloration|
|Stems / internal feeding|
|Stems / lodging; broken stems|
|Stems / necrosis|
|Stems / visible frass|
|Stems / wilt|
|Stems / witches broom|
|Whole plant / discoloration|
|Whole plant / early senescence|
|Whole plant / frass visible|
|Whole plant / internal feeding|
|Whole plant / plant dead; dieback|
|Whole plant / wilt|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
The important pest species in the genus Xylosandrus and the related genera Euwallacea, Xyleborinus and Xyleborus are all ambrosia beetles in the Xyleborini, a tribe with a social organization of extreme polygamy. The sexual dimorphism is strongly developed, and the ratio of females to males is high. All are closely associated with symbiotic ambrosia fungi, which are transported by the female, and form the sole food for both adult and larvae.
Studies of the biology and life cycle of X. germanus have been made by Kaneko et al. (1965), Kaneko et al. (1965) and Kaneko and Takagi (1966) in Japan, Hoffmann (1941), Schneider and Farrier (1969), Weber and McPherson (1983c), and Oliver and Mannion (2001) in the USA, and in Europe by Groschke (1953), Gauss (1960), Heidenreich (1960, 1964) and Peer and Taborsky (2004, 2005).
The species is not strongly size-selective, and breeds both in small branches and in large logs and stumps. There may be some preference for stems of less than 10 cm diameter (Henin and Versteirt, 2004). In Japan, X. germanus also attacks the roots of tea (Kaneko et al., 1965). In small stems, an entrance tunnel cut into the pith or wood is extended into a longitudinal tunnel or an irregular chamber. In larger stems, the gallery may branch once or twice in the transverse plane, with a brood chamber in the longitudinal plane, but not penetrating far into the wood. The female feeds on the ambrosia fungus, Ambrosiella hartigii, which she has introduced into the gallery system before oviposition begins. The eggs are laid loosely in the gallery over some days, and the larvae feed on the ambrosia fungus on the walls of the gallery.
The size of the brood varies considerably. Broods from 1 to 54 individuals have been found, with an average of about 16 (Kaneko and Takagi, 1966; Weber and McPherson, 1983c). Pupation and mating of brood adults occurs within the gallery system, the (usually) single male in each gallery mating with his sisters. The new generation of females emerges through the entrance hole made by the parent. It is usually considered that the males of xyleborine ambrosia beetles do not emerge from the gallery system (e.g. Kirkendall, 1993), but Peer and Taborsky (2004) have shown that some males of X. germanus do disperse locally (by walking because they are flightless) to seek additional matings. Total development time from egg to adult is about 25 days at 24°C in the laboratory (Weber and McPherson, 1983c), but in the field in the temperate zone summer, about 55-60 days is required from gallery initiation to emergence of a new generation (Oliver and Mannion, 2001).
X. germanus, like other xyleborines (Jordal et al., 2000), has diploid females and haploid males (Takagi and Kaneko, 1966). The diploid number of chromsomes is 16, the haploid number 8 (Takagi and Kaneko, 1966). Unmated females produce only haploid male offspring; mated females lay eggs with a sex ratio of about 9 females: 1 male, and produce adults with the same sex ratio (Takagi and Kaneko, 1966).
The number of generations per year depends primarily on environmental temperatures. In its native range in Japan, there are one or two generations per year (Kaneko et al., 1965), in central Europe one generation (Bruge, 1995; Henin and Versteirt, 2004), but in Italy usually two (Faccoli, 2000), and in the USA (North Carolina to Illinois) two generations per year (Weber and McPherson, 1983). The optimum range of temperature for development is 21-23°C (Kaneko et al., 1965). The flight period of the adults is usually between April and August, but may extend into March and September (Kaneko and Takagi, 1966; Weber and McPherson, 1991). Adults overwinter in the host plants, often clustering in galleries (Hoffmann, 1941; Kaneko and Takagi, 1966; Weber and McPherson, 1983).
The biotic and abiotic factors that could affect the distribution of the species are discussed by Henin and Versteirt (2004), and it is concluded that climatic conditions, particularly winter temperatures, play a crucial role - at least in limiting its northward spread. The reasons for the absence of the species from more tropical regions are unknown.
X. germanus is often found together with other species of scolytid ambrosia beetles in the same trees, e.g. together with Xylosandrus compactus on tea (Kaneko and Takagi, 1966); Xylosandrus crassiusculus on black walnut (Oliver and Mannion, 2001); Ambrosiodmus apicalis on apple (National Horticultural Research Institute, 2002); Xyleborus (Anisandrus) dispar on grapevine (Boll et al., 2005). The distributions of the species on the host tree may differ, for example, in Japan, X. germanus attacks mainly the roots of tea, X. compactus the stems (Kaneko and Takagi, 1966). These additional attacks add to the detrimental effect on the host plants.
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
The male adults of X. germanus are flightless, but the females can disperse by flight over relatively long distances. Grégoire et al. (2003) suggest that adults can fly at least 2 km. Longer distances may be covered by a few beetles, especially if they are caught by wind currents. In the USA, X. germanus spread at a rate of several tens of kilometres per year, and its initial rate of spread in Europe seems to have been similar (Henin and Versteirt, 2004).
Movement in trade
Long distance spread may also be the result of human transport of infested wood. This is the most likely route by which X. germanus has become established in Europe and North America. LaBonte et al. (2005) suggest that the recent spread of X. germanus from the eastern states of the USA, to Oregon in the West, is probably due to the intracontinental movement of untreated domestic solid wood packing material and other raw timber.
It was shown many years ago (Buchanan, 1940, 1941) that X. germanus can transmit the Dutch elm disease fungus (Ophiostoma ulmi), but it is not an important vector (Carter, 1973). It is more often associated with Fusarium spp., which cause dieback, sprouting and stem cankers on affected trees. Such associations have been noted in walnut (Juglans nigra, J. regia) (Kessler, 1974; Weber and McPherson, 1984b, 1985; Stergulc et al., 1999; Faccoli, 2000); sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus) (Gauss, 1960); and tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) (Anderson and Hoffard, 1978; Weber, 1980). It is likely that in some cases, spores of Fusarium spp. are carried on the cuticle of the dispersing adult beetles. The ambrosia fungus of the beetle, Ambrosiella hartigii (Batra, 1967), is not pathogenic, although it does cause staining of the wood around the galleries.
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|
|Roots||arthropods/adults; arthropods/eggs; arthropods/larvae; arthropods/pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||arthropods/adults; arthropods/eggs; arthropods/larvae; arthropods/pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Wood||arthropods/adults; arthropods/eggs; arthropods/larvae; arthropods/pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
Wood PackagingTop of page
|Wood Packaging liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Timber type||Used as packing|
|Loose wood packing material||dunnage boards; dunnage||No|
|Solid wood packing material with bark||No|
|Solid wood packing material without bark||wooden crates; pallets||No|
|Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Processed or treated wood|
Impact SummaryTop of page
|Fisheries / aquaculture||None|
ImpactTop of page
Impact: BiodiversityTop of page
Detection and InspectionTop of page
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
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 removal of infested trees, branches and logs, and their destruction can help to reduce the level of attacks, at least locally. Weber and McPherson (1984a) showed that black walnut (Juglans nigra) trees from different provenances were not equally susceptible to attack. Selection of resistant strains may help to reduce the level of attacks.
Given the apparent absence of pathogens, parasitoids and predators, biological control measures are unlikely to be effective.
Some studies have been carried out in Japan on the susceptibility of both adults and immature stages of X. germanus to fumigation with various chemicals (methyl iodide, methyl isocyanate, sulfuryl fluoride) (Mizobuti et al., 1996; Soma et al., 1997; Naito et al., 1999). The results suggest that methyl iodide has high potential as a fumigant of imported logs. Attempts to control X. germanus and related species of Xylosandrus using insecticides have had rather limited success (Kaneko, 1967; Hudson and Mizell, 1999). Ambrosia beetles are difficult to control with insecticides because the host tree forms a barrier between the insecticide and the beetle. To be effective, insecticides must either be closely timed with beetle attacks, be applied repeatedly, or have long residual activity (Oliver and Mannion, 2001).
A study in Japan of the effects of irradiation on X. germanus in cut timber (Yoshida et al., 1975) indicated that treatment could prevent progeny surviving to the adult stage, and also further boring damage.
Oliver and Mannion (2001) have pointed out that the catch of X. germanus in ethanol-baited traps may not reflect the actual abundance and frequency of attacks on trees in the neighbourhood. Nevertheless, such traps can be used as an indicator of attacks, as with the related species, Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Mizzell et al., 1998; Oliver et al., 2005). It has been shown that the response of the beetles increases with the concentration of ethanol (Klimetzek et al., 1986; National Horticultural Research Institute, 2002), so the concentration needs to be kept high for effective monitoring.
No detailed IPM programmes have been developed for X. germanus. However, general recommendations (Katovich, 2004) would include monitoring for the presence of the pest, and reducing stress on recently-planted, nursery, or plantation trees. Heavily attacked branches or trees should be removed and destroyed to prevent infestations of nearby stressed trees. Insecticides appropriately labelled as bark treatments may be employed against new attacks, but systemic insecticides are not effective.
ReferencesTop of page
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