Identification and Biology of Southern Pine Bark Beetles
R.C. Thatcher – Program Manager, USDA Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station, Integrated Pest Management Program, and
M.D. Connor – Entomologist, USDA Forest Service, Southern Region, Forest Pest Management.
Integrated Pest Management Handbook, USDA, Forest Service, Agriculture Handbook No. 634, March 1985.
In 1980, the Forest Service and the Cooperative State Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture initiated the Integrated Pest Management Research, Development, and Applications Program for Bark Beetles of Southern Pines. This research/applications effort concentrates on pine bark beetles and associated tree disease in the South. This is one in a series of Integrated Pest Management handbooks.
Bark beetles are the most destructive insects affecting pines in the southern United States. The five principal species of bark beetles occurring in this region include: the southern pine beetle, Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann, the six-spined Ips, Ips calligraphus (Germar), the eastern five-spined Ips, Ips grandicollis (Eichhoff), the small southern pine engraver, Ips avulsus (Eichhoff), and the black turpentine beetle, Dendroctonus terebrans (Olivier). Frequently, more than one of these species occurs in the same host tree. Attack by one may predispose the tree to attack by another, and the presence of two or more species in the same tree may result in competition for the same area of the trunk and available food supply.
All five bark beetle occur throughout the range of the four major southern pine species--loblolly, Pinus taeda L.; shortleaf, Pinus echinata Mill.; slash, Pinus elliottii Engelm. var. elliottii; and longleaf, Pinus palustris Mill. Greatest losses occur in loblolly and shortleaf pine stands, although most of the 11 native pines in the South are attacked.
When conditions are favorable, bark beetle populations build up rapidly and kill large numbers of trees. From 1973 to 1977, the three Ips species caused estimated losses of 52.4 million board feet and 899,000 cords of pine timber in the South. During the same period, the black turpentine beetle killed more than 26.4 million board feet and 454,000 cords of pine timber. The southern pine beetle killed about 3.2 billion board feet.
To be effectively dealt with, any pest (or pests) must first be identified. This handbook provides the reader with information to distinguish between the five southern pine bark beetles species based on symptoms of attack, adult appearance, and differences in life cycles and behavior.
Developed by the University of Georgia Bugwood Network in cooperation with USDA Forest Service - Forest Health Protection, USDA APHIS PPQ, Georgia Forestry Commission, Texas Forest Service
and the Pests and Diseases Image Library - Australia
Last updated on Wednesday, August 09, 2006 at 10:30 AM
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