Bark Beetles

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Related to Bark Beetles: Mountain pine beetle

Bark Beetles


(Ipidae or Scolytidae), a family of beetles. The body is cylindrical, brown or black, and usually quite small (0.8–12 mm). The bark beetle has clubbed antennae and legs with four joints. The elytra in many species of bark beetles have a depression in the back that makes passages in plant tissue. There are two subfamilies—Scolytinae (with a single genus) and Ipidae—and more than 3,000 species. In the USSR there are more than 300 species. They are particularly diverse in the taiga zone, Caucasus, and southern Far East.

All bark beetles live under the bark or, more rarely, in the bark, wood, or roots of trees. Occasionally they live in the stems of herbaceous plants; some tropical species live in fruits and seeds. Many species cause major damage to forests, orchards, and parks. Most bark beetles live on trees of a particular genus or species, usually only on the trunks or branches; some live in dense, and others in sparse, forests. Only a few species are polyphagous. Bark beetles remain hidden most of their lives, flying only when the time for laying eggs approaches. For egg-laying the beetles bore an entrance into the bark; the entrance is connected to the “nuptial chamber,” where the male mates with one or more females. Leading away from this chamber are “mother galleries” (the number depending on the number of females), with egg chambers in the walls. Larval tunnels lead from the egg chambers, ending in pupal cells. The young beetle bores its way to the surface from these cells.

Most bark beetles attack weakened trees, but a number of species attack perfectly healthy trees, particularly during massive reproduction. Trees infested with the beetles die quickly. Bark beetles are also carriers of certain diseases, such as Dutch elm disease and blue rot. (The latter greatly reduces the quality of wood.)

Controlling bark beetles is difficult. The main method is to remove windfalls and material remaining after tree-felling and to cut out infested trees. In the USSR the most harmful species are Blastophagus piniperda, B. minor, and Ips typographus, which attack conifers, especially spruce; Ips sexdentatus, which infests pine and cedar; the European spruce beetle (Dendroctonus micans), which attacks Oriental spruce; and Xyleborus dispar, which infests many deciduous trees.


Stark, V. N. “Koroedy.” (Fauna SSSR, vol. 31: Zhestkokrylye.) Moscow-Leningrad, 1952.


References in periodicals archive ?
However, I'd been reading about the pine bark beetle in National Geographic, Audubon, and Nature Conservancy.
We investigated variation in acoustic structures and signals in the larger Mexican pine beetle, Dendroctonus approximatus Dietz in order to better understand how acoustic signals may be constrained by size in bark beetles.
The present study aims to design and test a nested PCR system that targets the COI gene in order to identify the RTB from the four other beetles in the bark beetle family.
As warming continues, the predictions are we will have more devastating outbreaks, not only of mountain pine beetle, but of many species of bark beetles.
In August, the House Natural Resources Committee passed the Healthy Forest Management Act of 2012 with provisions expanding states' authority to address the bark beetle and other forest-health conditions.
This happened just as bark beetles were ramping up ha numbers and the change in policy gave them the chance to build their empire while our backs were turned.
This seems to be a more natural description of the dispersal behavior of bark beetles, which spread out to find susceptible trees in their close vicinity.
Nikiforuk, a Canadian journalist, chronicles the plague of bark beetles that in the last quarter-century has killed more than 30 billion pine and spruce trees from Alaska to New Mexico.
Under conditions that existed before about 1980, those freezes typically would kill off many of the bark beetle eggs that had been laid in lodgepoles.
The committee voted to update and renew current NLC resolutions on water infrastructure, sustainability initiatives, climate change, climate change adaptation, bark beetles and environmentally friendly shoreline systems.
Mountain bark beetles, always present in forests but in epidemic proportions since 1996, have turned adjacent slopes the color of cheaply dyed hair, the needles of dying trees a dull red verging on orange.