Large, reddish-brown pitch tubes showing attack sites. Attacks are usually confined to lower 1 m of bole.
Fan-shaped larval gallery pattern.
Tree Species Attacked: Mature ponderosa and lodgepole pine are attacked. It is infrequently found in other conifers.
Insect Description & Damage Symptoms: The adult turpentine beetle is the largest in the
Dendroctonus genus, averaging 8 mm long, and is distinctly reddish-brown. The adults burrow into the lower bole and root collar of a tree, resulting in the formation of large, reddish-brown pitch tubes. The excavated galleries are short, irregular, and usually vertical. The larvae feed in mass formation, which creates a large, fan-shaped gallery. Complete development may take as long as two years in cold areas.
Damage: Like the lodgepole pine beetle, the red turpentine beetle is not an aggressive tree killer. They prefer large, old, weak, or injured trees, and freshly cut logs or stumps. The beetles attack in small numbers, and repeated attacks are required to kill a tree. Trees weakened by turpentine beetle attack are more susceptible to fatal attack by other bark beetles.
Similar Damage: May be mistaken for other bark beetles, but the large size and the reddish-brown colour distinguishes the adult turpentine beetle. The large, reddish pitch tubes at the base of the tree are similar to the lodgepole pine beetle, but the large cavity mined by the larvae of the turpentine beetle is distinctive.
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Contact Tim Ebata
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BC Ministry of Forests
Forest Practices Branch
P.O. Box 9513 Stn. Prov. Gov.
Section phone: (250) 387-8739
Section fax: (250) 387-2136
Last updated February 15, 2002