Xylosandrus compactus

From Bugwoodwiki

Authors: Van Driesche, R.G., J.H. LaForest, C.T. Bargeron, R.C. Reardon, and M. Herlihy. 2012. Forest Pest Insects in North America: a Photographic Guide. USDA Forest Service. Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team. Morgantown, WV. FHTET-2012-02.

Hexapoda (including Insecta)
X. compactus
Scientific Name
Xylosandrus compactus
(Eichhoff, 1875)
Common Names
black twig borer

Orientation to Pest

The black twig borer, Xylosandrus compactus (Eichhoff), is an invasive ambrosia beetle from Asia present in Hawaii and coastal regions of the southeastern United States. Females bore into healthy twigs of over 200 hardwood species, where they lay loose clusters of eggs and inoculate their galleries with a symbiotic fungus (Fusarium solani [Mart.] Sacc.) on which their larvae later feed. Twigs may be colonized by one or several females, depending on twig size. Mature larvae pupae in the gallery and males, which are flightless, mate with females in the twig before new females emerge. Males never leave the twig. Attacked trees or other plants are usually not killed but may suffer considerable damage. In Hawaii, this species is an important pest of coffee (Coffea canephora Pierre [esp. var. robusta Ineac].

X. compactus X. crassiusculus X. germanus X. zimmermanni
Female size 1.4 - 1.9 mm 2.1 - 2.9 mm 2.0 - 2.4 mm 1.3 - 1.5 mm
Surface of declivity Shining and smooth Dull and granulate Shining Shining
Hair tuft on base of pronotum Forms transverse row --- --- Tuft oriented longitudinally
Geographic location Throughout Florida and from North Carolina to eastern Texas Throughout Florida and from North Carolina to eastern Texas From Connecticut to Missouri, east Texas, and central Georgia. Might appear in north Florida. Subtropical south Florida and Mexico to Venezuela.
Common host material In small twigs on healthy, cut and stressed plants In wood of large twigs, small branches and stems In wood of large twigs, small branches and stems Only in unhealthy, cut, or broken branches 1-3 cm in diameter

Hosts Commonly Attacked

Hosts are quite varied but include maple (Acer spp.), hickory (Carya spp.), magnolia (Magnolia spp.), dogwood (Cornus spp.), oaks (Quercus spp.), willows (Salix spp.), among others.


Black twig borer has been reported from Hawaii and in North America from coastal parts of North Carolina to Texas (USA). Globally this species has a wide distribution in tropical and subtropical areas.

Biological Control Agents

Little is known of the natural enemies of black twig beetle.

Web Links


Ngoan N. D., R. C. Wilkinson, D. E. Short, C. S. Moses, and J. R. Mangold. 1976. Biology of an introduced ambrosia beetle, Xylosandrus compactus, in Florida. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 69: 872-876.
Masuya, H. 2007. Note on the dieback of Cornus florida caused by Xylosandrus compactus. Bulletin of the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Ibaraki 402: 59-63.