Xylosandrus morigerus (brown twig beetle)
- 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
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Plant Trade
- Wood Packaging
- Impact Summary
- Detection and Inspection
- Prevention and Control
- Links to Websites
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Xylosandrus morigerus (Blandford)
Preferred Common Name
- brown twig beetle
Other Scientific Names
- Xyleborus coffeae Wurth
- Xyleborus luzonicus Eggers
- Xyleborus morigerus Blandford
- Xylosandrus coffeae (Wurth)
International Common Names
- English: brown coffee borer; brown coffee twig borer; coffee beetle
- Spanish: barrenador del tallo del cafeto; pasador de las ramas del cafeto
- French: scolyte brun des rameaux; scolyte brun du caféier
Local Common Names
- Germany: Bohrer, Brauner Kaffeezweig-; Borkenkaefer, Dendrobium-
- Netherlands: bruine takkenboeboek; koffietakkenboeboek; takkenboeboek
- XYLSMO (Xyleborus morigerus)
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 morigerus
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page
DescriptionTop of page
Length 1.4-1.7 mm. Frons broadly convex, surface shining, reticulate, with sparse, small and large punctures. Antennal club solid on posterior face, no sutures visible. Pronotum slightly wider than long, sides strongly arcuate, anterior margin broadly rounded, with 8 coarse serrations. Elytra slightly longer than pronotum, about as long as wide, apex broadly rounded. Elytral declivity commencing about middle of elytra, steep, broadly convex; strial and interstrial punctures larger than those in striae, with distinct granules and rows of fine, short, strial setae and rows of much longer interstrial setae.
White, elliptical, with a smooth surface, averaging 0.5 mm long and 0.28 mm wide (Verbeek, 1930).
The following description of the mature larva is translated from Muskus Arrieta (1984). Head capsule is free, as long as it is wide (0.34 mm), sides curved and posterior margin emarginate; frons triangular , wider than long and slightly shorter than half the length of the head capsule; frontal suture undifferentiated; frontal section of the median dorsal cranial furrow is slightly longer than half the length of the frons. Posterior epicranial seta 1 is long and the other three are extremely short; a feature used to identify this species.
Clypeus with anterior margin almost straight, the posterior is a little concave and the basal part has a very narrow pigmented area. Seta 2 is slightly shorter than 1. Anteromesal sensillum is closer to seta 2.
Labrum wider than long; its sides are semi-parallel, the anterior margin has a median protuberance and uniform pigmentation. The tormae are robust and long, and extend almost to the base of the clypeus, the tips are free, separated and divergent.
Maxilla shows a narrow area of dark pigmentation on the inner side of the ventral face of the stipes. The stipital seta is in the middle of the base of the stipes. Palpiferal setae are situated in the membranous area at the base of the palps.
Labium with posterior prolongation of the median premental arm short and triangular; one sensillum is in the base of the lateral premental arms; the basal segment of the palpus is undifferentiated. Postlabial setae are arranged in a straight line that runs anterolaterally.
Mandible slightly curved; tridentate; a small protuberance on the cutting margin near the third tooth; two setae arranged transversely; two sensillae near the basal margin.
Thorax and abdomen: dorsal plate present on the prothorax; body covered in microtrichia; setae small; spiracles biforous.
No detailed description of the pupa has been made.
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|
|Congo, Democratic Republic of the||Present||Introduced||Invasive|
|Kenya||Absent, Intercepted only|
|Japan||Absent, Intercepted only|
|Austria||Present, Few occurrences||Introduced|
|Czechia||Present, Few occurrences||Introduced|
|France||Present, Few occurrences||Introduced|
|Italy||Present, Few occurrences||Introduced|
|United Kingdom||Present, Few occurrences||Introduced|
|Nicaragua||Present||Introduced||Invasive||Original citation: Atkinson & Equihua-Martinez, 1988|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Present|
|United States||Present, Localized||Introduced|
|-California||Absent, Intercepted only||Original citation: Haack (2003)|
|-Florida||Absent, Intercepted only||Original citation: Haack (2003)|
|-Louisiana||Absent, Intercepted only||Original citation: Haack (2003)|
|Federated States of Micronesia||Present|
|Northern Mariana Islands||Present||Introduced||Invasive|
|Papua New Guinea||Present||Native|
History of Introduction and SpreadTop of page
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
X. morigerus occurs in a very wide variety of host plants (e.g. Kalshoven, 1958, 1961; Browne, 1961; Schedl, 1963; Beaver, 1976). Schedl (1963) lists 75 species in 33 families, and many more species have since been added to this list (Wood and Bright, 1992). Almost any broad-leaved tree or sapling can potentially be attacked, although the species has not yet been recorded from conifers. It is important as a pest of crop and ornamental trees, and is well-known as a pest of coffee, and as a borer in orchid stems. It frequently infests shade trees in coffee plantations. Its attacks are sometimes primary on apparently healthy hosts. Given the range of host trees attacked, and the differences between geographical areas, it is scarcely possible to distinguish 'main host' trees from 'other host' trees. It may be expected that most crop, plantation or ornamental trees in a particular area can be attacked. The Host list in this datasheet contains a selection of recorded hosts.
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
Growth StagesTop of page
SymptomsTop of page
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Growing point / dieback|
|Stems / lodging; broken stems|
|Whole plant / wilt|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
Studies of the biology of X. morigerus have been made by Browne (1961) in Malaysia, and Kalshoven (1958, 1961) in Indonesia. These and other studies have been reviewed by Schedl (1963) and Le Pelley (1968). Some additional information is given by Beaver (1976, 1988) for Samoa and the Seychelles respectively, and Jordal and Kirkendall (1998) for Costa Rica. Many further references are given by Wood and Bright (1992) and Bright and Skidmore (1997, 2002).
The species usually breeds in shoots, twigs and small branches, but also attacks seedlings, and sometimes larger stems up to a diameter of about 20 cm (Browne, 1961; Roberts, 1977). It is usually secondary, but primary attacks on healthy plants often occur. Seedlings are normally killed by such attacks, which often extend into the tap root deep below the soil surface (Verbeek, 1930; Le Pelley, 1968). The species can also breed in the large fallen leafstalks of trees such as Cecropia (Beaver, 1979; Jordal and Kirkendall, 1998). Only the females initiate attacks. In small stems an entrance tunnel cut into the pith or wood is extended into a longitudinal tunnel or 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 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. In Indonesia, Kalshoven (1961) found a mean of 30 offspring, with occasional galleries holding 70 offspring at various stages of development. In Malaysia and Samoa, brood sizes are much smaller (up to 25) (Browne, 1961; Beaver, 1976). In leafstalks, brood sizes are normally not more than 2 or 3, possibly because of poor conditions for the growth of the ambrosia fungus (Beaver, 1979; Jordal and Kirkendall, 1998). 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. The males do not normally emerge. Development times are probably similar to the related species, Xylosandrus compactus (about 4 weeks from egg to adult, and 5-6 weeks from the time the female begins her gallery to the sexual maturity of the next generation (Ngoan et al., 1976). 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. However, populations may increase during the rainy season (Browne, 1961). Attacks on healthy hosts are less successful in periods of vigorous host growth, and when humidity is low (Browne, 1961).
Natural enemiesTop of page
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
In Indonesia, the species is attacked by the parasitoid Tetrastichus xylebororum (Kalshoven, 1960). This oviposits through the twig onto the beetle larvae. An unidentified bethylid enters the gallery system and paralyses larvae and pupae before ovipositing on them (Kalshoven, 1960). Neither parasite provides effective control (Le Pelley, 1968).
Adults of ambrosia beetles are predated by lizards, clerid beetles and ants as they attempt to bore into the host tree. In Ecuador, the following ant genera have been reported to attack adults of X. morigerus: Crematogaster, Leptothorax, Pheidole, Pseudomyrmex and Solenopsis (Barrera, 2003). The adults may also be attacked by the pathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana (Barrera, 2003).
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
The adult females fly readily, and flight is one of the main means of movement and dispersal to previously uninfected areas. Of more importance for long distance movement, however, 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). No detailed studies appear to have been made of the ambrosia fungus of X. morigerus. Most species of Xylosandrus are associated with Ambrosiella or Fusarium species (Norris, 1979; Kajimura and Hijii, 1994). Fusarium species are known to be plant pathogens, and their pathogenicity to host plants when transmitted by ambrosia beetles has been confirmed (Hara and Beardsley, 1976; Dixon and Woodruff, 1983). 'Contamination' of the mycangia by the spores of pathogenic fungi is possible. Spores of pathogenic fungi can also be transported on the cuticle of the beetle, although their chance of survival there is much less than in the mycangial pouch. Browne (1961) and Le Pelley (1968) noted that most of the damage following attacks by X. compactus is due to accompanying fungal attack. However, the fungi involved do not appear to have been investigated.
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||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Bulbs/Tubers/Corms/Rhizomes||adults; eggs; larvae; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Roots||adults; eggs; larvae; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Seedlings/Micropropagated plants||adults; eggs; larvae; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||adults; eggs; larvae; pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms not visible to the naked eye but usually visible under light microscope|
|Wood||adults; eggs; larvae; 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 liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Timber type||Used as packing|
|Loose wood packing material||No|
|Solid wood packing material with bark||Fresh sapwood||Yes|
|Solid wood packing material without bark||Fresh sapwood||Yes|
|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
Detection and InspectionTop 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.
When Xylosandrus species are detected in plant material, it is necessary to immediately destroy all of the infested material. When they are detected in traps, plant material in the vicinity of the trap should be actively inspected. If an active infestation is detected, chemical control using insecticides is possible but not generally effective since the adult beetles bore deep into the host material. The following insecticides were effective against a species of Euwallacea destructive to tea: fenvalerate, deltamethrin, quinalphos and cypermethrin (Muraleedharan, 1995); these insecticides may also be effective against other ambrosia beetles. For the related species, Xylosandrus crassiusculus, Bambara and Casey (2003) suggest the use of permethrin, but note that multiple treatments may be required during a season. They consider that dursban is ineffective. In plantations and orchards, they suggest the use of some attacked trees as trap trees, which need to be removed and burned before the life cycle of the beetle is completed.
The concealed habitats in which these species feed and reproduce, the difficulties and high costs of insecticide application, and environmental concerns all limit the effectiveness of chemical control. Practices that promote tree vigour and health will aid recovery from beetle damage. Biological control measures are not considered likely to be effective.
ReferencesTop of page
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Bambara S; Casey C, 2003. The Asian ambrosia beetle. North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/trees/note111/note111.html.
Bambara S; Stephan D; Reeves E, 2002. Asian ambrosia beetle trapping. North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/trees/note122/note122.html.
Barrera JF, 2003. Proyecto taladrador de las ramas del café robusta. http://www.tap-ecosur.edu.mx/proyectos/entomo/mip/mip.htm.
Beaver RA, 1989. Insect-fungus relationships in the bark and ambrosia beetles. Insect-fungus interactions. 14th Symposium of the Royal Entomological Society of London in collaboration with the British Mycological Society [edited by Wilding, N.; Collins, N.M.; Hammond, P.M.; Webber, J.F.] London, UK; Academic Press, 121-143
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Bright DE, 2000. Scolytidae (Coleoptera) of Gunung Mulu national Park, Sarawak, Malaysia, with ecological notes and descriptions of six new species. Serangga, 5:41-85.
Bright DE; Peck SB, 1998. Scolytidae from the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, with descriptions of four new species, new distribution records, and a key to species (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). Koleopterologische Rundschau, 68:233-252; 28 ref.
Bright DE; Skidmore RE, 1997. A catalog of Scolytidae and Platypodidae (Coleoptera), Supplement 1 (1990-1994). Ottawa, Canada: NRC Research Press, 368 pp.
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Cognato AI; Rubinoff D, 2008. New exotic ambrosia beetles found in Hawaii (Curculionidae: Scolytinae: Xyleborina). Coleopterists Bulletin, 62(3):421-424. http://www.bioone.org/perlserv/?request=get-current-issue
Dixon WN; Woodruff RE, 1983. The black twig borer, Xylosandrus compactus (Eichhoff) (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). Entomology Circular, Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, No. 250:2 pp.
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Entwistle PF, 1972. Pests of cocoa. London, UK: Longman, 779 pp.
EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization. http://www.eppo.int/DATABASES/pqr/pqr.htm
Haack RA, 2001. Intercepted Scolytidae (Coleoptera) at US ports of entry: 1985-200. Integrated Pest Management Reviews 6: 253-282.
IPPC, 2016. Xylosandrus morigerus (Blandford) detected in Timor-Leste. IPPC Official Pest Report, No. TLS-02/1. Rome, Italy: FAO. https://www.ippc.int/
Kajimura H; Hijii N, 1994. Electrophoretic comparisons of soluble mycelial proteins from fungi associated with several species of ambrosia beetles. Journal of the Japanese Forestry Society, 76(1):59-65
Kalshoven LGE, 1958. The occurrence of the primary twig borer Xyleborus morstatti Hag. in Indonesia. Entomologische Berichte, 18:220-252.
Kalshoven LGE, 1960. Observations on the parasites of Xyleborus twig borers in Java. Entomologische Berichten, 20:259-262.
Kalshoven LGE, 1961. A study of the twig borer Xyleborus morigerus Blandford, mainly based on observations in Java. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie, 104:93-110.
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Ohno S; Yoshioka K; Yoneyama K; Nakazawa H, 1988. The Scolytidae and Platypodidae (Coleoptera) from Solomon Islands, found in logs at Nagoya Port, I. Research Bulletin of the Plant Protection Service, Japan, No. 24:91-95
Pelley RH le, 1968. Pests of Coffee. London and Harlow, UK: Longmans, Green and Co Ltd.
Saha, N., Maiti, P. K., Chakraborti, S., 1992. On Some Species Of Xylosandrus reitter (Scolytidae: Coleoptera) From The Sub-Himalayan West Bengal With Description Of A New Species. Records of the Zoological Survey of India, 91(1), 9-27. http://faunaofindia.nic.in/PDFVolumes/records/091/01/index.pdf#page=13
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Bright D E, Peck S B, 1998. Scolytidae from the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, with descriptions of four new species, new distribution records, and a key to species (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). Koleopterologische Rundschau. 233-252.
Bright DE, 2000. Scolytidae (Coleoptera) of Gunung Mulu national Park, Sarawak, Malaysia, with ecological notes and descriptions of six new species. In: Serangga, 5 41-85.
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Nunberg M, 1958. (Zur Kenntnis der neotropischen Scolytiden- und Platypodiden-Fauna (Coleoptera)). In: Acta Zoologica Cracoviensia, 2 479-507.
Ohno S, Yoshioka K, Yoneyama K, Nakazawa H, 1988. The Scolytidae and Platypodidae (Coleoptera) from Solomon Islands, found in logs at Nagoya Port, I. Research Bulletin of the Plant Protection Service, Japan. 91-95.
Pelley RH le, 1968. Pests of Coffee., London and Harlow, UK: Longmans, Green and Co Ltd.
Roberts H, 1977. Observations on the biology of some tropical rain forest Scolytidae (Coleoptera) from Fiji. II. Subfamily Ipinae - tribe Xyleborini. Journal of Natural History. 11 (3), 251-272. DOI:10.1080/00222937700770181
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Saha N, Maiti P K, Chakraborti S, 1992. On Some Species Of Xylosandrus reitter (Scolytidae: Coleoptera) From The Sub-Himalayan West Bengal With Description Of A New Species. Records of the Zoological Survey of India. 91 (1), 9-27. http://faunaofindia.nic.in/PDFVolumes/records/091/01/index.pdf#page=13
Schedl KE, 1963. Scolytidae und Platypodidae Afrikas, Band II. In: Revista de Entomologia de Moçambique, 5 (1962) 1-594.
Wood SL, Bright DE, 1992. A catalog of Scolytidae and Platypodidae (Coleoptera), Part 2: Taxonomic index. In: Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs, 13 1-1553.
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