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16 November 2021

Callosobruchus chinensis (Chinese bruchid)

Datasheet Types: Pest, Invasive species


This datasheet on Callosobruchus chinensis covers Identity, Overview, Distribution, Hosts/Species Affected, Diagnosis, Biology & Ecology, Natural Enemies, Impacts, Prevention/Control, Further Information.


Preferred Scientific Name
Callosobruchus chinensis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Preferred Common Name
Chinese bruchid
Other Scientific Names
Bruchus barbicornis Fabricius 1801
Bruchus bistriatus Fabricius 1801
Bruchus chinensis Linnaeus 1888
Bruchus scutellaris Fabricius 1792
Callosobruchus barbicornis (Fabricius 1801)
Callosobruchus bistriatus (Fabricius 1801)
Callosobruchus scutellaris (Fabricius)
Curculio chinensis Linnaeus 1758
Mylabris chinensis Linnaeus 1878
Pachymerus chinensis Linnaeus 1905
International Common Names
adzuki bean weevil
oriental cowpea bruchid
southern cowpea weevil
gorgojo de los frijoles
gorgojo del caupi
bruche chinoise
bruche de Chine
Local Common Names
Kaefer, Chinesischer Bohnen-
Kaefer, Chinesischer Kunde-
hazaryit hasinit
tonchio cinese
borulce tohum bocegi
EPPO code
CALSCH (Callosobruchus chinensis)


Callosobruchus chinensis (Chinese bruchid); adult male. ca. 2.8mm in length (range 2.0-3.5mm). Specimen collected in 1957, and located in the collections of the University Museum, Oxford, UK.
Callosobruchus chinensis (Chinese bruchid); adult male. ca. 2.8mm in length (range 2.0-3.5mm). Specimen collected in 1957, and located in the collections of the University Museum, Oxford, UK.
©Udo Schmidt/wikipedia - CC BY-SA 3.0
Callosobruchus chinensis (Chinese bruchid); adult, on a bean spp. Size range from 2.0-3.5mm.
Callosobruchus chinensis (Chinese bruchid); adult, on a bean spp. Size range from 2.0-3.5mm.
©Clive Lau

Taxonomic Tree

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Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

There are a number of species of Callosobruchus that may be found attacking pulses, of which the most common and well known is C. maculatus. Adults of most species known from stored pulses may be identified using the bruchid key in Haines (1991).



The eggs are cemented to the surface of pulses and are smooth, domed structures with oval, flat bases.

Larva and Pupa

The larvae and pupae are normally only found in cells bored within the seeds of pulses. For a description and key to larvae of Callosobruchus spp., see Vats (1974).


C. chinensis adults are 2.0-3.5 mm long. The antennae are pectinate in the male, and serrate in the female. The elytra are pale brown, with small median dark marks and larger posterior dark patches, which may merge to make the entire posterior part of the elytra dark in colour. The side margins of the abdomen have distinct patches of coarse white setae, a feature that is shared with C. rhodesianus and C. theobromae. In common with other species of Callosobruchus, C. chinensis has a pair of distinct ridges (inner and outer) on the ventral side of each hind femur, and each ridge has a tooth near the apical end. The inner tooth is slender, rather parallel-sided, and equal to (or slightly longer than) the outer tooth.

Variations in morphological parameters may be induced by different host densities, whether development occurs in pods or in loose seeds (Nahdy et al., 1995), or by population source (George and Verma, 1997).


The two most widespread species of bruchid beetle are C. maculatus and C. chinensis, which are distributed throughout the tropics and sub-tropics. C. chinensis originated in tropical Asia where it is still the dominant species.
A record of C. chinensis in Brazil published in previous versions of the Compendium was based on a misinterpretation of a paper by Wijeratne (1998) and is considered invalid. Wijeratne (1998) does not mention C. chinensis in Brazil.

Distribution Map

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Distribution Table

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Hosts/Species Affected

C. chinensis is a major pest of chickpeas (Pandey and Singh, 1997), lentils, green gram, broad beans, soybean (Srinivasacharyulu and Yadav, 1997; Yongxue et al., 1998a) adzuki bean and cowpeas in various tropical regions. It also attacks other pulses on occasions, but appears to be incapable of developing on common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris).

See Udayagiri and Wadhi (1989) for a full list of host plants.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

Growth Stages

Fruiting stage


In the early stages of attack the only symptoms are the presence of eggs cemented to the surface of the pulses. As development occurs entirely within the seed, the immature stages are not normally seen. The adults emerge through windows in the grain, leaving round holes that are the main evidence of damage.

List of Symptoms/Signs

Symptom or signLife stagesSign or diagnosisDisease stage
Plants/Seeds/internal feeding   

Habitat List

CategorySub categoryHabitatPresenceStatus

Biology and Ecology

Adult Callosobruchus beetles do not feed on stored produce, and are very short-lived, usually no more than 12 days under optimum conditions. During this time the females lay many eggs (C. chinensis up to 70), although oviposition may be reduced in the presence of previously infested seeds (Chavan et al., 1997; Parr et al., 1998a,b).

The life cycle of the most economically important species of bruchid is relatively short. Under optimal conditions complete development takes place in as little as 22-25 days. The optimum temperature for oviposition is high in C. maculatus, about 30-35°C and low in C. chinensis, 23°C. As the eggs are laid, they are firmly glued to the surface of the host seed, smooth-seeded varieties being more suitable for oviposition than rough-seeded varieties (Parr, 1996; Chavan et al., 1997). The eggs are domed structures with oval, flat bases. When newly laid they are small, translucent grey and inconspicuous. Eggs hatch within 5-6 days of oviposition (Howe and Currie, 1964). Upon hatching, the larva bites through the base of the egg, through the testa of the seed and into the cotyledons. Detritus produced during this period is packed into the empty egg as the insect hatches, turning the egg white and making it clearly visible to the naked eye.

C. chinensis, like C. maculatus, is easily raised in laboratories and has been used as a model organism in a number of ecological studies (for example: Shimada and Tuda, 1996; Tanaka, 1996; Colegrave, 1997). Its development is strongly influenced by temperature and humidity (Borikar and Pawar, 1996; Yongxue et al., 1998b), host substrate and population source (strain or biotype; Wijeratne, 1998). A number of aspects of the behaviour of C. chinensis have been studied in some detail including: male mating behaviour (Lan and Horng, 1999; Takakura, 1999), investigating the male's contribution to female fecundity.

The developing larva feeds entirely within a single seed, excavating a chamber as it grows. The optimum development conditions for C. maculatus and C. chinensis are around 32°C and 90% RH; the minimum development period for C. maculatus is about 21 days, and 22-23 days for C. chinensis. At 25°C and 70% RH the total development period of C. maculatus breeding on seeds of Vigna unguiculata is about 36 days, pupation taking place within the seed 26 days after oviposition (Howe and Currie, 1964). Relatively little is known about C. phaseoli although the optimum temperature for development is within the range 30-32.5°C (Howe and Currie, 1964).

Infestation commonly begins in the field, where eggs are laid on maturing pods (Singh, 1997; Nahdy et al., 1999). As the pods dry, the pest's ability to infest them decreases. Thus dry seeds stored in their pods are quite resistant to attack (Nahdy et al., 1998), whereas the threshed seeds are susceptible to attack throughout storage.

Notes on Natural Enemies

The parasitic wasps Dinarmus basalis, Lariophagus distinguendus and Anisopteromalus calandrae have been associated with a number of Callosobruchus species. It is probable that several other wasps known to parasitize a wide range of Coleoptera, such as Theocolax elegans, will also use Callosobruchus species as hosts.

Natural enemies

Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Anisopteromalus calandraeParasite
Dinarmus basalisParasite
Dinarmus vagabundusParasite     
Heterospilus prosopidisParasite
Lariophagus distinguendusParasite
Pteromalus cerealellaeParasite     
Pteromalus schwenkeiParasite     
Theocolax elegansParasite     
Uscana lariophagaParasite
Uscana mukerjiiParasite


Callosobruchus spp. are important primary pests of pulses. Infestation may start in the pods before harvest and carry over into storage where substantial losses may occur. Levels of infestation may be high. In Japan, one survey found upto 14% of pods could become egg-laden in the field.

The effects of progressive infestation by C. chinensis on seed quality, protien content and suitability for human consumption were studied by Khairnar et al. (1996), and Modgil and Mehta (1996).

Detection and Inspection

No particular detection or inspection methods for Callosobruchus spp. have been developed.

The potential exists for the development of population monitoring by use of sex pheromones. The existence of a female sex pheromone in C. chinensis was demonstrated by Honda and Yamamoto (1976), and Gharib et al. (1992), but the pheromone is not commercially available (Phillips, 1994; Plarre, 1998).

Prevention and Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
Chemical Control

Callosobruchus spp. may be controlled by fumigation treatment with phosphine, although legislation in many regions now frequently prohibits or restricts the use of these products. Sealed or hermetic storage affords some protection against C. chinensis (Singh and Yadav, 1996; Shaw, 1998).

Approved grain insecticides, especially organophosphates, will protect against infestation (Mohamed, 1996; Narayan et al., 1997; Sharma et al., 1997; Singh and Singh, 1997; Borikar and Pawar, 1998; Sharvale and Borikar, 1998; Gupta et al., 1999).

When grain pulses are stored at farm level the admixture of vegetable oil or essential oils can give protection (Don-Pedro, 1989; Mansour and Kleeberg, 1997; Rajapakse et al., 1997; Rajapakse and Senanayake, 1997; Maheshwari et al., 1998; Ahmed et al., 1999), as can the admixture of dessicant dusts or ash (Chiranjeevi and Sudhakar, 1996; Mohamed, 1996), and certain aromatic leaves, fruits or plant extracts. Many of these products have been traditionally used by subsistence farmers, thereby reducing the need for, and risks associated with, the use of insecticides. The mode of action of these biologicals may be insecticidal or anti-ovipositional.

The list of plants and plant extracts shown to have insecticidal or anti-ovipositional effect against C. chinensis and other bruchid pests is very long, including for example: Acacia nilotica (Chiranjeevi and Sudhakar, 1996); Acorus calamus (Chiranjeevi and Sudhakar, 1996; Ignatowicz and Wesolowska, 1996; Schmidt et al., 1997); Achyranthus aspera (Chiranjeevi and Sudhakar, 1996); Alpinia galanga (Dadang et al., 1998); Amoora rohituka (Miah et al., 1996); Cassia occidentalis (Maheshwari and Dwivedi, 1997); Cedrus deodara (Singh and Mehta, 1998); Chamomilla recutita (Singh and Mehta, 1998); Crinum defixum (Chiranjeevi and Sudhakar, 1996); Cymbopogon citratus (Rajapakse et al., 1997; Rajapakse and Senanayake, 1997); Cinnamomum spp. (Rajapakse et al., 1997; Tiwari and Dixit, 1997); Clerodendron siphonanthus (Pandey and Khan, 1998; Pandey and Khan, 1999); Croton bonplandianus (Maheshwari and Dwivedi, 1997); Derris inudata (Rajapakse et al., 1997); Eucalyptus tereticornis (Khan and Shahjahan, 1998); Lantana camara (Chiranjeevi and Sudhakar, 1996); Ledum palustre (Ignatowicz and Wesolowska, 1996); Linum usitatissimum (Miah et al., 1996); Madhuca longifolia (Rajapakse and Senanayake, 1997); Monodora myristica (Rajapakse et al., 1997); Nigella sativa (Kumari and Singh, 1998); Piper nigrum (Kumari and Singh, 1998); Polygonum hydropiper (Rouf et al., 1996); Pongamia pinnata (Negi et al., 1997); Verbesina encelioides (Maheshwari and Dwivedi, 1997); Vitex negundo (Miah et al., 1996); Zingiber spp. (Rajapakse et al., 1997).

The most well known of anti-bruchid phytochemicals is azadirachtin which has been used alone, in 'botanical insecticides' or as a component of leaves or extracts (liquid or powder) of the neem tree, Azadirachta indica, particularly in the Indian subcontinent (Chiranjeevi and Sudhakar, 1996; Ignatowicz and Wesolowska, 1996; Miah et al., 1996; Singh et al., 1996; Mansour and Kleeberg, 1997; Rajapakse and Senanayake, 1997; Singh, 1997; Kumari and Kumar, 1998; Kumari and Singh, 1998; Ahmed et al., 1999). Azadirachtin is both an anti-ovipositant and insecticide (larvicide and adulticide). Neem oil and other extracts or neem derivatives may be applied directly to seeds, where volatiles also have a fumigant effect.

Cultural Control and Sanitary Methods

Intercropping maize with cowpeas, and not harvesting crops late significantly reduced infestation by C. maculatus, C. rhodesianus, C. chinensis and Acanthoscelides obtectus in Kenya (Olubayo and Port, 1997).

Good store hygiene plays an important role in limiting infestation by these species. The removal of infested residues from last season's harvest is essential, as is general hygiene.

Solarization (or drying and heating) can be used to control infestations of C. maculatus without affecting seed germination, although the effects on C. chinensis are less clear (Shinoda and Yoshida, 1985; BuctuAnon and Morallo-Rejesus, 1997; Sharma and Dwivedi, 1997).


Irradiation by ionising gamma radiation has the potential for being used for disinfestation in stores, although the practice is not widely allowed and may be costly (Bui-Cong-Hien et al., 1997).

Host-Plant Resistance

Cultivars of host seeds vary considerably in their susceptability to insect attack, and there has been much interest in screening varieties of seeds for resistance (Rathore, 1996; Chavan et al., 1997; Sharma and Dwivedi, 1996; Sharvale and Borikar, 1996; Sharma et al., 1997; Singh et al., 1997; Das, 1998; Liu et al., 1998; Singh et al., 1998; Lambrides and Imrie, 2000). The biochemical basis of resistance in seeds has been elucidated in some cases, as have some of the genes responsible for confering resistance (Miura et al., 1996; Sugawara et al., 1996). The seed chemicals responsible for resistance in seeds, and which may be exploited in breeding (or transgenic) programmes could include proteinase inhibitors (Kuroda et al., 1996; Islam and Karim, 1997; Wang et al., 1999).

Adzuki beans have been genetically modified to express alpha-amylase inhibitors (alphaAI), making them resistant to C. chinensis and C. maculatus (Ishimoto, 1996; Ishimoto and Chrispeels, 1996; Ishimoto et al., 1996).

Resistance to infestation is evident in legume pods with hairy and thick walls (Das, 1998; Nahdy et al., 1999).

Biological Control

Biological control has not been widely used against Callosobruchus species, although natural populations of C. maculatus are often subject to high levels of parasitism, and there have been suggestions that biological control programmes of C. chinensis may be viable (Dorn, 1998). However, it seems likely that studies conducted on the complex biology of plant-host-parasitoid interactions and the effect of climate and host density on parasitoid behaviour may be more likely to influence changes in storage practices to encourage parasitoids than encourage the implementation of classical biological control programmes. Research has focussed on the larval and pupal parasitoids, Anisopteromalus calandrae (Nishimura and Jahn, 1996; Wackers, 1998; Wackers et al., 1998; Mitsunaga and Fujii, 1999; Shimada et al., 1999), Dinarmus basilis (Nishimura and Jahn, 1996; Islam, 1997), Heterospilus prosopidis (Nishimura and Jahn, 1996; Wackers, 1998; Wackers et al., 1998; Mitsunaga and Fujii, 1999; Shimada et al., 1999), Lariophagus distinguendus (Wangxi et al., 1998); and the egg parasitoid, Uscana lariophaga (Mourad and Zaghloul, 1997).

Links to Websites

GISD/IASPMR: Invasive Alien Species Pathway Management Resource and DAISIE European Invasive Alien Species Gateway source for updated system data added to species habitat list.
Global register of Introduced and Invasive species (GRIIS) source for updated system data added to species habitat list.


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  • Synergism of a mixture of phosphine and carbon dioxide in fumigation against bean weevils, Scientific Horizons, 10.48077/scihor5.2023.89, 26, 5, (2023).

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