Home / True Weevils (Curculionidae) / Asian Ambrosia Beetle (Xylosandrus crassiusculus)

Asian Ambrosia Beetle (Xylosandrus crassiusculus)

The Asian Ambrosia beetle is a member of the “true” weevil family. They are widespread and are primarily known for generating a symbiotic fungus for their consumption. Russian entomologist Victor Ivanovich Motschulsky first described the species in 1866.

Asian Ambrosia Beetle

Scientific Classification

  • Family: Curculionidae
  • Genus: Xylosandrus
  • Scientific name: Xylosandrus crassiusculus

Physical Description and Identification

Adult 

Size: 2 to 3 mm

Color: It has a reddish-brown body.

Other Characteristic Features: These beetles are stout, with the males being smaller than females. While the females can fly, the males are flightless.

Granulate Ambrosia Beetle

Larva

They are white, legless, and go through several instars before pupating. After hatching, the grubs are cared for by the females until maturing. 

Asian Ambrosia Beetle Larva

Pupa

Once fully mature, the larvae pupate inside the trees instead of a separate pupal tunnel. 

Asian Ambrosia Beetle Pupa

Egg

Females breed with their siblings and offspring and then lay eggs in bored holes in the preferred host plant.

Asian Ambrosia Beetle Eggs

Quick Facts

Other namesGranulate Ambrosia Beetle
Lifespan55-60 days
DistributionNative: Asia Invasive: Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Oceania
HabitatVariable; originated from tropical climes
Seasons activeSummer
Host plantsBuckeye, carob, cherry, crape myrtle, elm, fig, magnolia, peach, plum, pecan, persimmon, Palestine oak, and sweet gum.
Diet of adultsThe fungus cultivated by the females which is referred to as “ambrosia”.
Asian Ambrosia Beetle Damage

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

The damage these beetles do can be seen in the form of frass tubes sticking out of trees infested by them. Though these beetles majorly infest stressed young trees, they could even at times attack healthy ones bringing down the overall quality of the wood. They may even infest in stacked timber resulting in severe economic damage.

Did You Know

  • The populations are primarily female, with a ratio of 10:1 between females and males.
Xylosandrus crassiusculus

The Asian Ambrosia beetle is a member of the “true” weevil family. They are widespread and are primarily known for generating a symbiotic fungus for their consumption. Russian entomologist Victor Ivanovich Motschulsky first described the species in 1866.

Asian Ambrosia Beetle

Physical Description and Identification

Adult 

Size: 2 to 3 mm

Color: It has a reddish-brown body.

Other Characteristic Features: These beetles are stout, with the males being smaller than females. While the females can fly, the males are flightless.

Granulate Ambrosia Beetle

Larva

They are white, legless, and go through several instars before pupating. After hatching, the grubs are cared for by the females until maturing. 

Asian Ambrosia Beetle Larva

Pupa

Once fully mature, the larvae pupate inside the trees instead of a separate pupal tunnel. 

Asian Ambrosia Beetle Pupa

Egg

Females breed with their siblings and offspring and then lay eggs in bored holes in the preferred host plant.

Asian Ambrosia Beetle Eggs

Quick Facts

Other namesGranulate Ambrosia Beetle
Lifespan55-60 days
DistributionNative: Asia Invasive: Africa, the Americas, Europe, and Oceania
HabitatVariable; originated from tropical climes
Seasons activeSummer
Host plantsBuckeye, carob, cherry, crape myrtle, elm, fig, magnolia, peach, plum, pecan, persimmon, Palestine oak, and sweet gum.
Diet of adultsThe fungus cultivated by the females which is referred to as “ambrosia”.
Asian Ambrosia Beetle Damage

Identifying the Damage Caused by Them

The damage these beetles do can be seen in the form of frass tubes sticking out of trees infested by them. Though these beetles majorly infest stressed young trees, they could even at times attack healthy ones bringing down the overall quality of the wood. They may even infest in stacked timber resulting in severe economic damage.

Did You Know

  • The populations are primarily female, with a ratio of 10:1 between females and males.
Xylosandrus crassiusculus

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