Field of Science

Sybra punctatostriata

Sybra punctatostriata, from here.

Just a very brief post today, because once again I've drawn a species that I haven't been able to find too much about. Sybra punctatostriata is a member of the Cerambycidae, the longicorn beetles, a diverse but (usually) fairly distinctive group of beetles whose larvae burrow into wood and plant stems. This species was first described by H. W. Bates in 1866 as part of a collection of beetles from Taiwan. Since then, it has been recorded over a wide area stretching from Japan in the north to Hainan in the south (though mostly in Japanese and Chinese sources that I don't have access to, and probably couldn't follow if I did). However, Samuelson (1965) indicated that S. punctatostriata was one of a number of very similar species in the genus Sybra, hinting that its range may require revision. Samuelson himself only identified a single specimen of S. punctatostriata from Okinawa in collections of beetles from the Ryukyus, which he described as showing some small differences from Taiwan specimens.

Another view of Sybra punctatostriata from the same site.

Sybra punctatostriata has been recorded feeding on Gossypium, the genus that includes cotton. However, other Sybra species are known to have wide host ranges. Sybra alternans, a species that has been recorded infesting bananas, has also been known to feed on fig trees, pineapple plants, passionfruit vines, beans... (Chen et al. 2001). It is possible that S. punctatostriata's host range may also be wider than recorded.


Bates, H. W. 1866. On a collection of Coleoptera from Formosa, sent home by R. Swinhoe, Esq., H.B.M. Consul, Formosa. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 339-355.

Chen, H., A. Ota & G. E. Fonsah. 2001. Infestation of Sybra alternans (Cerambycidae: Coleoptera) in a Hawaii banana plantation. Proc. Hawaiian Entomol. Soc. 35: 119-122.

Samuelson, G. A. 1965. The Cerambycidae (Coleopt.) of the Ryukyu Archipelago II, Lamiinae. Pacific Insects 7 (1): 82-130.


  1. The specific name punctatostriata is (dubious) Latin for "dotted-striated", but in the pictures the critter looks rather randomly blotched. Are the markings consistent from individual to individual?

  2. I think 'punctatostriata' in this case refers to the line(s) of punctations on the elytra, not to anything related to coloration. I don't know to what degree that varies.


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