Apate monachus

Apate monachus Fabricious

common name: Black borer, black giant bostrychid.

Taxonomic placing: Insecta, Holometabola, Coleoptera, Bostrychidae.

Geographical distribution: Tropical Africa, Mediterranean region to the Arabian Peninsula and Central America.

Morphology: Body of females black to dark brown, forehead covered with long bristles joined to form a brush; dorsum with punctuated longitudinal grooves and a pair of pointed projections at the caudal margin (absent in the male), pronotum convex. Body length 14-18 mm. Larva white except for the brown head and pronotum, body length up to 25 mm.

Host plants: Many crop and ornamental tree species and sugarcane.

Life history: The female borer lays about 80 eggs, and lives for about 2-3 months. The hatched larvae immediately begin to gnaw into dry branches, remaining in their galleries till pupation. The pest is more prevalent in dead or decayed wood, wherein it bores several galleries, in the same or in other branches. The entire life cycle often lasts about 3 years.

Economic importance: Due to the fact that damage may be localized, seen only in a few trees or in a single orchard, losses are difficult to assess. The boring of the pest into tree stems causes branch weakening and breaking during storms. Heavy infestations, consisting of 300-500 galleries/tree, can kill a tree, especially in. nurseries.


Horticultural methods: Pruning and burning dead, infested branches and removing dead trees. Inserting a metal wire into the galleries to remove the larvae. Planting only pest-free young trees.

Chemical control: Dusting the trunks and lower branches with a suitable insecticide may prevent infestations, as can pyrethroids.

Biological control: The braconid parasitoids Glyptocolastes sp. and Leucospis dorsigera Fabricius (Leucospidae) attack A. monachus.


Bonsignore, C.P. 2012. Apate monachus (Fabricius, 1775), a bostrichid pest of pomegranate and carob trees in nurseries – short communication. Plant Protectection Science 48: 94-97.

Halperin, J. and Damoiseau, R. 1980. The bostrychid beetles (Coleoptera) of Israel. Israel Journal of Entomology 14: 47–53.

Luciano, P. 1982. Nuovi danni causati in Sardegna da Apate monachus Fabr. (Coleoptera, Bostrychidae). Annali Della Facolta’ di Agraria dell’ Universita’ Sassari 29: 67-71.

Peretz, I., and Cohen M. 1961: Apate monachus in Israel. FAO Plant Protection Bulletin 9: 76–79.

Rodriguez Perez, M. (1981: Observations on the biology and morphology of Apate monachus Fabricius in Cuba. Centro Agricola 8: 13–33

Waker, K. 2008. Black borer (Apate monachus). Pest and Diseases Image Library. Available at http://www.padil.gov. (accessed on 30.06. 2011).