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Species Page

mango tree borer

Batocera rufomaculata
This information is part of a full datasheet available in the Crop Protection Compendium (CPC). Find out more information on how to access the CPC.
©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0 licence.


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Host plants / species affected

Main hosts

show all species affected
Anacardium occidentale (cashew nut)
Artocarpus heterophyllus (jackfruit)
Ceiba pentandra (kapok)
Dyera costulata (jelutong)
Ficus carica (common fig)
Hevea brasiliensis (rubber)
Mangifera indica (mango)
Spondias (purple mombin)

List of symptoms / signs

Growing point - external feeding
Roots - internal feeding
Stems - internal feeding


Adult feeding damage occurs when the bark of twigs is gnawed or the green growing tips are chewed. The female beetle makes an incision in damaged bark, the bark of stressed trees, or in roots exposed by soil erosion, and lays an egg. Subcortical feeding by the larva in main stems, larger branches or exposed roots creates a cavity allowing large patches of bark to become detached. Older larvae bore directly deeper into the wood of the host.

In heavy or continuous infestations, tunnelling weakens the wood to such an extent that branches break or the main stem collapses. Frass ejected from the larval borings may collect in bark crevices around and below the oviposition site or accumulate at the base of the tree. The emergence holes of the adult, about 20 mm in diameter, indicate that the host has been attacked.

Prevention and control

Chemical Control

The application of insecticide to the main trunk, branches and exposed roots of host trees during the period of adult activity can kill the eggs and young larvae of B. rufomaculata (Kaliannan et al., 1979). Insecticide application to twigs and growing shoots can deter adult feeding (Avidov and Harpaz, 1969).

Older larvae can be killed in situ by the injection of a volatile liquid or fumigant (Atwal, 1976; Beeson, 1941; Duffy, 1968; Butani, 1978; Sharma and Tara, 1986).

Physical Control

The use of a small knife or piece of wire can also be used as a probe to injure the larva (Duffy, 1968).

Sanitary Methods

The phytosanitary risk of B. rufomaculata lies with the trading of rough timber, especially logs with intact bark as the larvae develop in wood. Timber, especially cashew wood in southern India, should be debarked prior to storage in order to reduce losses caused by this pest.


Attack by B. rufomaculata often leads to the death of the tree. Tree death has been recorded in the Virgin Islands, Israel, Mauritius, India and Malaysia. Economic loss can follow when the tree attacked bears fruits or yields another product.