Nipa Palm Hispid Beetle Octodonta nipae (Maulik)

  • Baozhen Tang
  • Youming HouEmail author
Part of the Invading Nature - Springer Series in Invasion Ecology book series (INNA, volume 11)


In 2001, the nipa palm hispid beetle Octodonta nipae (Maulik) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) was first detected in Hainan Province, China, on the California fan palm Washingtonia filifera (Linden ex André) H. Wendl. The infested palms displayed serious decline with young leaf fronds with shrivel and curl, and both adults and larvae were found together on the center of young leaves of palms. This beetle now has also invaded other southern regions in China. To understand its invasion mechanisms, we review biological characteristics and ecological adaptation to environments in this chapter. Surveys on biological characteristics showed that females can lay an average of 120 eggs in clusters at the ends of adult feeding scars, and the longevity of males and females can be ~203.5 days and 178.7 days, respectively. Moreover, females and males can mate multiple times with an optimal range throughout their life cycles, within which their reproduction is most successful. When living in harsh environments such as low temperature at 12.5 °C, O. nipae can adjust its physiological state to adapt to environmental stressors, however, no evident tolerance to high temperature over 27 °C was observed. This beetle has a wide range of preferred host palm plants except the Chinese fan palm Livistona chinensis R. Brown. In addition, upon bacterial challenge, the beetle can make an adaptive immune response with the existence of a sexual dimorphism of immunocompetence. All these traits may together contribute to its wide spread. So far, the potentialities of biological agents, such as Tetrastichus brontispae and Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae, have been validated only in the lab, thus chemical spraying is still the effective method to manage the beetle in the field. Further field investigations are needed to assess control efficiency of these biological agents.


Octodonta nipae (Maulik) Hispine beetle Washingtonia filifera Biological control Tetrastichus brontispae Ferrière 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Ecological Pest Control for Fujian and Taiwan Crops and Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Insect EcologyFujian Agriculture and Forestry UniversityFuzhouChina

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