I need help recognizing this pest which causes some of the stems on my mango tree to dry and die. Those seem to be worm/maggot like larva, with a pinkish color, about 4mm in length. They are surrounded by eggs and some younger white larva. I found a few adults, seem to be black beetles (or something), no more than 2mm in size. The dying branches are 1-2cm in width. The larva infested are blackens and dries, the leaves further up the branch die from unavailability of water.

In those pictures you can see one of the older infested branches, the rest are not as dried yet.

Thank you all.

  • I'm inclined to agree that this invading beetle and larvae are merely taking advantage of loose bark on an already dying branch, which would indicate another cause altogether for the die back - the beetle arrives opportunistically because of whatever else is going on. Unless, that is, you've seen something like this gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/pests/insects/… Otherwise, what other symptoms have you seen? and knowing where you are would be very useful too.
    – Bamboo
    Oct 8, 2016 at 22:22

2 Answers 2


The actions of the larvae indicate this is some type of beetle to me. I used this as a clue to try and look for something mango specific. It appears that there is a beetle called the "Mango Tree Borer". Now, I don't know where you live, so you will have to see if this beetle is common to the area. If so, then this might be the culprit.

Even if it is not the mango tree borer, I would wager you are suffering from a beetle attack and need to remedy this immediately.

Here is a link I found with some information on various mango diseases, including the borer: https://www.plantvillage.org/en/topics/mango

Here is a link with information on management of the borer: http://cish.res.in/Technologies/Management%20of%20Stem%20borer%20final%20%20English.pdf

Consult with a local store, agricultural expert or entemologist and find insecticide appropriate to spray on your mango tree. Best Wishes.

  • Thanks for the answer, this is not a Mango Tree Borer, we have those as well, but they are bigger, and tend to be single, not grouped. I got little help from the local agricultural guide, to him those seem like the larva of a dead-wood eating beetles, but I find them in bunches which are are only starting to decay, so the conclusion is that the beetles are to blame.
    – Shain
    Oct 1, 2016 at 15:56
  • 1
    Yes, it most likely is a beetle attack. I think insecticides and some of the physical interventions suggested will definitely help alleviate the situation. Insecticides are non-specific killers typically, so careful with the spraying. If you are able to capture the beetle itself in image using a macro lens, and tell us where you live, we may be able to narrow down the beetle. We can also make sure that its life cycle is causing the branch death. Oct 1, 2016 at 16:09

If those larvae were killing the branch they wouldn't be found in dead cambium. These beetles are symbiotic and if this ID is correct, they are called Ambrosia beetles. ambrosia beetles

Check this link out to see if this looks familiar...

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