Sirex piceus


Family: Siricidae
Subfamily: Siricinae
Genus: Sirex Linnaeus, 1760
Species: Sirex piceus Xiao and Wu, 1983
Common names: none


Sirex piceus is a rare black species from China (Xiao and Wu 1983).

Diagnostic characteristics

See Sirex for genus-level diagnostic characteristics.


Male S. piceus is not described.

May be confused with

Female S. piceus can be distinguished from similar species S. vates by the yellow-brown tint near the stigma of the fore wing (Xiao and Wu 1983).

Morphological and geographical variation

none recorded

Host associations


Life history

Female Sirex harbor symbiotic basidiomycete fungus in abdominal glands called mycangia. During oviposition, the site is inoculated with the fungus (Amylostereum spp.), which begins to decompose the surrounding wood. Larvae feed on the fungus, and in the process bore galleries through the wood (Schiff et al. 2012).

Larvae are creamy white and grub-like in appearance with a dark head capsule. As with adults, larvae possess a short dorsal horn on the posterior end of the body. The larvae bore galleries into wood, feeding until pupation and subsequent emergence. Throughout this process, the larvae use their horn to pack the tunnel behind them with sawdust. Emergence holes are perfectly circular. The fungal symbiont is carried in specialized organs in female larvae that develop into the mycangia after metamorphosis (Schiff et al. 2012).

The specific biology of S. piceus is unknown.


World: Sirex piceus is found in central China in the province Qinghai (Xiao and Wu 1983).

North America: not recorded

Map data from: (26 June 2019) GBIF Occurrence Download Sirex

Details about data used for maps can be found here.

Specimens of this species not available for imaging.