Hypothenemus obscurus

Tropical nut borer

Damage to a macadamia shell. Image: Vincent P Jones

  • Hypothenemus obscurus is an exotic beetle that attacks the nuts of macadamia
  • The most important pest to macadamia production in Hawaii
  • It can damage up to 60% of the crop in heavily infested areas where harvesting is not strictly managed
  • Damage is usually seen as abundant 0.5 mm holes in the husk of the nut
  • Extensive tunnelling is visible throughout the husk, shell and kernel
  • Damaged kernels are open to further spoiling through fungal infection. The beetles are very small and up to 190 have been found in a single macadamia nut
  • Widespread in North America (including Hawaii), Central and South America where it attacks several tree species

High priority pest of: Macadamias

Scientific name: Hypothenemus obscurus
EPPRD Category:
Life Form: Beetles & weevils (COLEOPTERA)

Pest Documents

FS: fact sheet

CP: contingency plan

DP: diagnostic protocol