Cookies on Plantwise Knowledge Bank

Like most websites we use cookies. This is to ensure that we give you the best experience possible.

Continuing to use means you agree to our use of cookies. If you would like to, you can learn more about the cookies we use.

Plantwise Knowledge Bank
  • Knowledge Bank home
  • Change location
Plantwise Technical Factsheet

brown twig beetle (Xylosandrus morigerus)

Host plants / species affected
Albizia procera (white siris)
Bixa orellana (annatto)
Camellia sinensis (tea)
Castanopsis (evergreen chinkapin)
Cecropia obtusifolia
Cedrela odorata (Spanish cedar)
Coffea (coffee)
Coffea arabica (arabica coffee)
Coffea canephora (robusta coffee)
Crotalaria anagyroides
Dendrobium phalaenopsis
Dryobalanops oblongifolia
Endospermum diadenum
Falcataria moluccana (batai wood)
Hevea brasiliensis (rubber)
Intsia palembanica (ironwood)
Leucaena leucocephala (leucaena)
Melia azedarach (Chinaberry)
Miconia trinervia
Ochroma pyramidale (balsa)
Persea americana (avocado)
Pouteria sapota (mammey sapote)
Salix humboldtiana
Schizolobium parahyba (Brazilian fern tree)
Schleichera oleosa (Macassar oil tree)
Senna multijuga (November shower)
Shorea leprosula
Swietenia macrophylla (big leaved mahogany)
Swietenia mahagoni (Cuban mahogany)
Tectona grandis (teak)
Tephrosia vogelii (Vogel's tephrosia)
Terminalia amazonia (nargusta)
Theobroma cacao (cocoa)
List of symptoms/signs
Growing point  -  dieback
Stems  -  lodging; broken stems
Whole plant  -  wilt
Attacked plants may show signs of wilting, branch die-back, shoot breakage, chronic debilitation, sun-scorch or a general decline in vigour.
Prevention and control

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.

X. morigerus can be a primary pest of coffee in Indonesia, attacking living trees and capable of causing important damage (Le Pelley, 1968). However, Kalshoven (1961), citing a number of other workers, suggests that it is principally a secondary borer, attacking plants which are in poor condition as the result of nematode attacks on the roots, or other causes. It is primarily a pest of robusta coffee, and less injurious to excelsa coffee (Kalshoven, 1961). The chief damage to the tissues of the host plant is caused by associated fungi (Browne, 1961; Le Pelley, 1968). In general, it is less important as a pest of coffee than the related species, Xylosandrus compactus (Kalshoven, 1958). It is a minor pest of cocoa (Entwistle, 1972), and of tea. Tea seedlings may be killed by its attacks in Indonesia (Verbeek, 1930; Kalshoven, 1961). Waterhouse (1997) lists the species as an 'important' pest of forest plantation trees (probably Swietenia) in Fiji, but attacks on mahogany seedlings, and other forest trees are not normally of major importance (Kalshoven, 1961). Attacks on orchid pseudobulbs and stems are of minor importance, although plants can be killed (Kalshoven, 1961).
Zoomed image