Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


Xylosandrus mutilatus
(camphor shoot beetle)



Xylosandrus mutilatus (camphor shoot beetle)


  • Last modified
  • 25 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Xylosandrus mutilatus
  • Preferred Common Name
  • camphor shoot beetle
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Metazoa
  •     Phylum: Arthropoda
  •       Subphylum: Uniramia
  •         Class: Insecta
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • X. mutilatus is a polyphagous ambrosia beetle, of possible relevance as a pest, that is indigenous to at least 10 countries in eastern and southern Asia (Japan to India). It has been recently discovered (1999) in...

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Camphor shot borer (Xylosandrus mutilatus); adult female. X. mutilatus is a robust, glossy, black beetle. At approx. 3.7mm in length, it is larger than most ambrosia beetles. USA.
TitleAdult female
CaptionCamphor shot borer (Xylosandrus mutilatus); adult female. X. mutilatus is a robust, glossy, black beetle. At approx. 3.7mm in length, it is larger than most ambrosia beetles. USA.
Copyright©Doug Stone/Mississippi State University/ - CC BY-NC 3.0 US
Camphor shot borer (Xylosandrus mutilatus); adult female. X. mutilatus is a robust, glossy, black beetle. At approx. 3.7mm in length, it is larger than most ambrosia beetles. USA.
Adult femaleCamphor shot borer (Xylosandrus mutilatus); adult female. X. mutilatus is a robust, glossy, black beetle. At approx. 3.7mm in length, it is larger than most ambrosia beetles. USA.©Doug Stone/Mississippi State University/ - CC BY-NC 3.0 US


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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Xylosandrus mutilatus Blandford, 1894

Preferred Common Name

  • camphor shoot beetle

Other Scientific Names

  • Xyleborus banjoewangi Schedl, 1939
  • Xyleborus sampsoni Eggers, 1930

International Common Names

  • English: ambrosia beetle; camphor shoot borer

EPPO code

  • XYLSMU (Xylosandrus mutilatus)

Summary of Invasiveness

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X. mutilatus is a polyphagous ambrosia beetle, of possible relevance as a pest, that is indigenous to at least 10 countries in eastern and southern Asia (Japan to India). It has been recently discovered (1999) in the warm temperate, southeastern United States (Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Texas), the only region occupied outside of its native Asian range. In northern Mississippi, it has multiplied prolifically and appears therefore highly capable of surviving and spreading in its newly adopted territory.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Coleoptera
  •                         Family: Scolytidae
  •                             Genus: Xylosandrus
  •                                 Species: Xylosandrus mutilatus


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Schiefer and Bright (2004) provide a thorough detailed description of the female. The males are relatively scarce. In comparison with other members of the tribe Xyleborini, X. mutilatus is relatively large at 3.46-3.88 mm long (Schiefer and Bright, 2004). The adult beetles are black, with reddish-brown legs and antennae. The elytra are 0.78 times longer than they are wide (Schiefer and Bright, 2004) and appear shorter than the pronotum, making them readily recognisable (Thomas, 2007). In dorsal view, the head is completely hidden by the pronotum, which is 0.86 times longer than it is wide and 1.11 times longer than the elytra (Schiefer and Bright, 2004; Coyle, 2006). The antennal club is round and appears to be obliquely cut (Coyle, 2006; Thomas, 2007). The body is generally smooth and shining (Coyle, 2006), with a long, golden and moderately dense pubescence on the abdomen (Schiefer and Bright, 2004).

The larvae are white, c-shaped and legless with an amber-coloured head capsule (Rabaglia, 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.

Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes


ChinaPresent, WidespreadNativeCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)
-AnhuiPresentNativeCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)
-SichuanPresentNativeCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)
-YunnanPresentNativeCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)
-ZhejiangPresentNativeCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)
IndiaPresent, WidespreadNativeCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)
IndonesiaPresent, WidespreadNativeCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)
JapanPresent, WidespreadNativeCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)
MalaysiaPresent, WidespreadNativeCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)
MyanmarPresent, WidespreadNativeCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)
North KoreaPresent, WidespreadNativeCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)
South KoreaPresent, WidespreadNativeCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)
Sri LankaPresent, WidespreadNativeCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)
TaiwanPresent, WidespreadNativeCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)
ThailandPresent, WidespreadNativeCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)

North America

United StatesPresent, LocalizedIntroducedInvasiveEPPO (2020)
-AlabamaPresentIntroduced2005InvasiveJohnson (2005); EPPO (2020)Montgomery County
-ArkansasPresentEPPO (2020)
-FloridaPresentIntroduced2002InvasiveSchiefer and Bright (2004); EPPO (2020)Three Counties
-GeorgiaPresentIntroduced2007InvasiveRaines (2007); EPPO (2020)Two Counties
-IllinoisPresentEPPO (2020)
-IndianaPresentEPPO (2020)
-KentuckyPresentEPPO (2020)
-LouisianaPresentEPPO (2020)
-MississippiPresent, WidespreadIntroduced1999InvasiveSchiefer and Bright (2004); EPPO (2020)Sixteen Counties
-North CarolinaPresentEPPO (2020)
-OhioPresentEPPO (2020)
-South CarolinaPresentEPPO (2020)
-TennesseePresentIntroduced2003InvasiveCoyle (2006); EPPO (2020)One County
-TexasPresentIntroduced2005InvasiveCognato et al. (2006); EPPO (2020)Three Counties
-VirginiaPresentEPPO (2020)
-West VirginiaPresentEPPO (2020)

History of Introduction and Spread

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X. mutilatus was first discovered outside of its native distribution in 1999 in Mississippi, USA, and by 2003 it was found to be widespread and abundant in 16 northern Mississippi counties (Schiefer and Bright, 2004). In 2002 it was found in Florida. In 2003 it was discovered in Tennessee in a single plantation of black walnut trees, Juglans nigra (Coyle, 2006). In 2005 it was trapped in both Alabama and Texas, and in 2007 it was trapped in Georgia.


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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Florida 2002 Unknown Yes Schiefer and Bright (2004) Local
Mississippi 1999 Unknown Yes Schiefer and Bright (2004) Widespread
Tennessee 2003 UnknownCoyle (2006) Local
Texas  2005 Unknown Yes Cognato et al. (2006) Local

Risk of Introduction

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X. mutilatus is broadly capable of colonizing new plant host materials as is evidenced by the great number of new host genera in Mississippi, and elsewhere in the US. It has apparently spread widely in the south-eastern United States and therefore must be highly capable of dispersal under its own power (Rabaglia, 2003). It appears to have a preference for woody plant materials of small diameter < 5 cm), and therefore may become important in urban communities and in plant nurseries. It may be unwittingly transported in wood products and in weakened nursery stock.

Habitat List

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Terrestrial – ManagedManaged forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Natural
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Natural
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Natural
Riverbanks Present, no further details Natural
Wetlands Present, no further details Natural

Hosts/Species Affected

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In its natural range, reported hosts of X. mutilatus are as follows (Schiefer and Bright, 2004):

Acer spp.
Acer sieboldianum
Albizia spp.
Benzoin [Lindera] spp.
Camellia spp.
Carpinus laxiflora
Castanea spp.
Cinnamomum camphora
Cornus spp.
Cryptomeria japonica
Fagus crenata
Lindera erythrocarpa
Lindera triloba
Machilus thunbergii [Persea thunbergii]
Ormosia hosiei
Osmanthus fragrans
Parabenzoin praecox [Lindera praecox]
Platycarya spp.
Swieitenia macrophylla.

In North America, reported hosts of X. mutilatus are as follows (Stone et al., 2007):

Acer palmatum
Acer rubrum
Acer saccharum
Carya spp.
Juglans nigra
Liquidambar styraciflua  
Liriodendron tulipifera
Melia azedarach
Ostrya virginiana
Pinus taeda
Prunus serotina
Prunus americana
Ulmus alata
Vitus rotundifolia.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Stems / dieback
Stems / discoloration
Stems / internal discoloration
Stems / internal feeding
Stems / mycelium present
Stems / necrosis
Stems / ooze
Stems / visible frass
Whole plant / discoloration
Whole plant / frass visible
Whole plant / internal feeding
Whole plant / plant dead; dieback

Biology and Ecology

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X. mutilatus is univoltine. Adult females make dispersal flights from June to August, seeking small diameter hosts in which to establish a gallery in the wood. Reported host plants in its natural range include Acer spp., Acer sieboldianum, Albizia spp., Benzoin [Lindera] spp., Camellia spp., Carpinus laxiflora,Castanea spp., Cinnamomum camphora, Cornus spp., Cryptomeria japonica, Fagus crenata, Lindera erythrocarpa, Lindera triloba, Machilus thunbergii [Persea thunbergii], Ormosia hosiei, Osmanthus fragrans, Parabenzoin praecox [Lindera praecox], Platycarya spp., and Swieitenia macrophylla (Schiefer and Bright, 2004). In North America its reported hosts thus far include Acer rubrum, Acer saccharum, Acer palmatum, Carya spp., Liriodendron tulipifera, Liquidambar styraciflua, Melia azedarach, Ostrya virginiana, Pinus taeda, Prunus serotina, Prunus americana, Ulmus alata, and Vitus rotundifolia (Stone et al., 2007). The gallery system excavated in the xylem is inoculated with spores of several species of ambrosia fungi (Kajimura and Hijii, 1992; Stone et al., 2005) carried in mycangia, a pair of dorsally located pits between the pronotum and mesonotum. As many as 38 eggs (average is 10) are laid per gallery. The female guards the gallery entrance and will block the entrance hole with her body as a defence against enemies. However, little has been reported about the nature and importance of natural enemies of X. mutilatus. Egg hatch begins about 7 days post oviposition and the larvae feed on the mycelia of the ambrosia fungi. Larvae are c-shaped and cream colored, without legs. Pupation occurs 2-3 weeks later, and adults emerge after about 1 week (Rabaglia, 2003; Schiefer and Bright 2004). As is typical of many ambrosia beetles, X. mutilatus has inbred polygamy. Mating occurs within the gallery immediately after eclosion. Only one to three males develop in each gallery where they remain and mate with their sisters. Males die after mating, and the females overwinter within the natal gallery (Rabaglia, 2003; Schiefer and Bright, 2004).


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A - Tropical/Megathermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coolest month > 18°C, > 1500mm precipitation annually
C - Temperate/Mesothermal climate Preferred Average temp. of coldest month > 0°C and < 18°C, mean warmest month > 10°C

Pathway Vectors

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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/Branches adults; eggs; larvae; pupae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Wood adults; eggs; larvae; pupae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Fruits (inc. pods)
Growing medium accompanying plants
Seedlings/Micropropagated plants
True seeds (inc. grain)

Wood Packaging

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Wood Packaging liable to carry the pest in trade/transportTimber typeUsed as packing
Solid wood packing material with bark Yes
Solid wood packing material without bark Yes

Impact Summary

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Cultural/amenity None
Human health None


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Virtually nothing is known about the ecological, economic, and social impacts of X. mutilatus in its native and adopted geographic territories. As an ambrosia beetle that generally attacks weakened and newly dead plant stems of small diameter <5 cm), the evidence suggests that it will not be a significant pest. However, there is reference to it as a minor pest in Japan (Schiefer and Bright, 2004). So far at least, the fungal and other microorganism associates of X. mutilatus have not shown evidence of being pathogenic to host plants. As more research unfolds in North America, it should soon become evident whether this invasive beetle will cause economic and/or ecological damage.

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Is a habitat generalist
  • Capable of securing and ingesting a wide range of food
  • Highly mobile locally
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Gregarious
  • Reproduces asexually
Impact outcomes
  • Host damage
Impact mechanisms
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Herbivory/grazing/browsing
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally accidentally
  • Difficult to identify/detect as a commodity contaminant
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field

Detection and Inspection

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Ambrosia beetles construct galleries (tunnels) in the xylem wood of their host plants, wherein the adults and larvae will be found with their fungal associates and accompanying staining of the wood. External evidence of Xylosandrus presence will be pin-hole sized entrance wounds in the bark that may be either bleeding or contain a light colored boring dust. There may be tooth-pick-like curling frass at the entrance holes (Rabaglia, 2003). Attacked plants may be wilting, exhibiting twig dieback, or dead. Often such plants are of small diameter, less than 5 cm.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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The genus Xylosandrus is closely related to Xyleborus, both morphologically and biologically (Rabaglia, 2003). The adult female, usually 3-4 mm long, is distinguished from related genera (Xyleborus, Xyleborinus, Ambrosiodum), by its stout body, truncate elytral cavity, and non-contiguous procoxae. See keys in Rabaglia et al. (2006) for separating Xyelborina genera and species. For a detailed description of adult X. mutilatus, after Schiefer and Bright (2004), see the Description section.

Prevention and Control

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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.

This insect is so poorly known at this time that there is no justification for management of its populations either in its native or its adopted ranges. Given the potential of wood boring insects to become pests, especially outside of their ancestral environments, caution should be exercised in transporting beetle-infested plant materials. However, there is no hard information about the mode of its transfer from South-East Asia to North America. It is presumed that the beetles may be moved to new environments in stressed and dead woody plant stems, and wood products where they have developed on ambrosia fungi. So far at least, the fungal and other microorganism associates of X. mutilatus have not shown evidence of being pathogenic to host plants.


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Cognato AI; Bogran CE; Rabaglia R, 2006. An exotic ambrosia beetle, Xylosandrus mutilatus (Blandford) (Scolytinae: Xyleborina) found in Texas. The Coleopterists Bulletin, 60:162-163.

Coyle D, 2006. Xylosandrus mutilatus. Global Invasive Species Database.

EPPO, 2014. PQR database. Paris, France: European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.

Johnson T, 2005. Pest alert: new wood boring beetle.

Kajimura H; Hijii N, 1992. Dynamics of the fungal symbionts in the gallery system and the mycangia of the ambrosia beetle, Xylosandrus mutilatus (Blandford) (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) in relation to its life history. Ecological Research, 7(2):107-117.

Rabaglia R, 2003. Xylosandrus mutilatus. North American Forest Commission Exotic Forest Pest Information System (NAFC-ExFor).

Rabaglia RJ; Dole SA; Cognato AI, 2006. Review of American Xyleborina (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) occurring north of Mexico, with an illustrated key. Annals Entomological Society of America, 99:1034-1056.

Raines M, 2007. New ambrosia beetle species detected in Georgia.

Schiefer TL; Bright DE, 2004. Xylosandrus mutilatus (Blandford), an exotic ambrosia beetle (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae: Xyleborini) new to North America. The Coleopterists Bulletin, 58:431-438.

Stone WD; Nebeker TE; Gerard PD, 2007. Host plants of Xylosandrus mutilatus in Mississippi. Florida Entomologist, 90(1):191-195.

Stone WD; Nebeker TE; Monroe WA, 2005. Ultrastructure of the mesonotal mycangium of Xylosandrus mutilatus (Blandford). an exotic beetle (Coleoptera: Curculiondiae: Scolytinae) by light, scanning,and transmission electron microscopy. Microscopic Microanalysis, 11((Supplement 2)):172-173.

Thomas MC, 2007. Pest Alert - Two Asian ambrosia beetles recently established in Florida (Curculionidae: Scolytinae). Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services - Division of Plant Industry.

Links to Websites

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Global Invasive Species Database GISD aims to increase awareness about invasive alien species and to facilitate effective prevention and management. It is managed by the Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) of the Species Surviva
Pest and Disease Image


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04/03/09 Original text by:

William Mattson, Institute for Applied Ecosystem Studies, 5985 Highway K, Rhinelander, WI 54501, USA,

Distribution Maps

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