Phoracantha semipunctata

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Phoracantha semipunctata (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Phoracantha semipunctata (Fabricius, 1775) - (eucalyptus longhorned borer)

This beetle is native to Australia and a pest of eucalypt trees in regions where it has been accidentally introduced (Americas, Africa, and Mediterranean region). The larvae feed on the inner bark and outer sapwood of the trees and disrupt the transport of water and nutrients. While older trees are mainly weakened as a result, the attacks can cause death of younger trees. The species is closely related to Phoracantha recurva which has been also accidentally introduced into many countries.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Eukalyptus-Bockkäfer
• English: eucalyptus longhorned borer
eucalyptus woodborer
• Español: taladro del eucalipto
• Português: broca-do-eucalipto

The beetle has been reported since the mid 1980s from California, U.S.A. However, the populations there have declined significantly since the mid 1990s, following the introduction of the encyrtid parasitoid Avetianella longoi.