Stem girdlers

Scientific name

  • Orthorrhinus klugii
  • Euthyrrhinus meditabundus
  • Asynonychus sp.

Description of adult

Lychee stem-girdlers are ring-barking weevils about 5mm long with the elongated snout typical of the weevil family. There are at least 3 weevil species involved (Orthorrhinus klugii, Euthyrrhinus meditabundus and Asynonychus sp.). They are mottled grey and brown in colour and blend with the background of bark.

Immature stages

The weevil larvae are legless, creamy-white and have a brown head.

Life history

The adult weevil lays eggs under the bark at the distal end of the branch that it has previously ring-barked. Usually the weevil chews 2 rings about 2–3 mm wide and about 5mm apart, around the circumference of a branch about 5–10 mm in diameter. After the eggs hatch, the resultant larva feeds as it burrows through the inside of the branch. Ring-barking of the tree prevents carbohydrates produced through photosynthesis in the leaves moving back past the ring barked area. This improves the quality of the nutrients in the branch for the larva. The larva eventually pupates in the burrow from which the adult weevil emerges some time later.


In all lychee/longan districts.

Host range

Lychee as well as unknown native hosts.


Minor and sporadic pests.

Eggs of the stem girdlers are laid under the bark of branches and the larvae bore within the wood. An indication of infestation and of activity is the sudden death of part of a small branch (i.e. distal to the ring-barked area). Affected branches usually remain in position because of their small size but may break off in strong winds. Seldom are more than 1–2 branches per tree affected.


No satisfactory action level is available for these pests.


Remove and destroy affected branches. Make the cut on the plant side of the ring-barked area.


Check the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority database for chemicals registered or approved under permit to treat this pest on the target crop in your location. Always read the label and observe withholding periods.