Sirex vates


Family: Siricidae
Subfamily: Siricinae
Genus: Sirex Linnaeus, 1760
Species: Sirex vates Mocsáry, 1881
Common names: none


Sirex vates is a rare black and yellowish-brown species from China (Smith 1978).

Diagnostic characteristics

See Sirex for genus-level diagnostic characteristics.

The following characters are taken from the short, original description written in Latin (Mocsáry 1881). It was difficult to translate, and the translating authors and subsequent researchers have been unable to confirm their accuracy.


Male S. vates is not known.

May be confused with

Female S. vates can be distinguished from similar species S. piceus by the clear fore wing (Xiao and Wu 1983), and from S. imperialis by the dull, non-metallic abdomen (Benson 1943).

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. vates is unknown.


World: Sirex vates is found in northern China and in the province Sichuan (Mocsáry 1881, Smith 1978).

North America: not recorded

No specific locality data was available for mapping the range of this species at the time of publication.

Specimens of this species not available for imaging.