Hypothenemus curtipennis (Schedl) is the first true ambrosia beetle known in the scolytid tribe Cryphalini. The male of the nominate subspecies is described from Fiji. Cryphalomorphus samoanus Browne is transferred to Hypothenemus, and considered a subspecies of H. curtipennis confined to Samoa. The life cycle, host trees, gallery system and causes of mortality of H. c. curtipennis are described. The species shows inbreeding polygyny.