Ips typographus (European Spruce Bark Beetle) - Fact Sheet

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Identification

Adults are 4.2 to 5.5 mm long, cylindrical and reddish or dark brown to completely black.Footnote 1 Footnote 2 Footnote 3 Footnote 4 The front of the head and the sides of the body are covered with long yellowish hairs.Footnote 5 Both sexes have four spines on each side of the elytral declivity, with the 3rd spine being the largest and capitate.Footnote 2 However, males have a larger head on the 3rd spine than do females and have fewer hairs on the pronotum.Footnote 1 Footnote 6 Footnote 9

Host Trees

Picea (main host), Abies, Larix and Pinus.Footnote 5 Footnote 2 Footnote 4

Location Of Infestation Within The Tree

Larvae feed in the inner bark up to 10 m along the stem.Footnote 10 Footnote 11 Footnote 4 This species prefers thicker-barked stems with a minimum bark thickness of 2.5 mm and an optimum thickness of 5.0 mm.Footnote 3 Footnote 12

Host Condition

This beetle prefers physiologically weakened, damaged, windthrown, recently felled or overmature trees.Footnote 2 Footnote 10 Footnote 11 However, as populations increase healthy hosts may be attacked.Footnote 2 Footnote 11 Infestations are more severe in stands greater than 120 years old, with a preference for trees between 70 and 150 years old. Stands less than 40 years old sustain very little damage.Footnote 2 Footnote 7 Footnote 10 Footnote 13

Distribution

Europe, China, North Korea, South Korea, Japan and Russia. Footnote 14

Signs and Symptoms

Males excavate a nuptial chamber and are joined by 1 to 4 females. Females construct egg galleries in the inner bark radiating outward from the nuptial chamber.Footnote 2 Vertical egg galleries are 10 to 20 cm long (12.5 cm average) and are usually three-armed, but can be two armed or multi-branched.Footnote 5 Footnote 6 Footnote 8 Footnote 3 Approximately 50 eggs are laid on each side of the egg gallery.Footnote 6 Footnote 9 Footnote 4 Larval galleries radiate at right angles to the egg gallery and become wider as the larvae grow.Footnote 4

On standing trees, needles turn yellow-green to red-brown and the foliage drops within a few weeks.Footnote 5 Footnote 4 Signs of infestation include red-brown frass in bark crevices, numerous round exit holes approximately 2 to 3 mm in diameter, and small (dime sized) tubes of resin (pitch tubes) extruding from the bark.Footnote 5 Footnote 4 Woodpecker damage may also be present.Footnote 15

Adult beetles also carry a number of associated fungi such as Ceratocystis polonica (Siemaszko). This bluestain fungus is highly virulent and can kill healthy spruce trees.Footnote 2 This fungus also stains the wood with blue streaks, which reduces its commercial value.Footnote 2

Adult Ips 45 (4.2-5.5 millimetre long). Note yellow hairs covering head and body.
A - Adult I. typographus (4.2-5.5 mm long). Note yellow hairs covering head and body.
Brown frass around base of Ips typographus attacked tree.
B - Brown frass around base of I. typographus attacked tree.
Ips typographus egg (10-20 centimetre long) and larval galleries.
C - I. typographus egg (10-20 cm long) and larval galleries.
Ips typographus egg and larval galleries. Galleries widen as larvae increase in size.
D - I. typographus egg and larval galleries. Galleries widen as larvae increase in size.
Reddish-brown crowns of trees attacked by Ips typographus.
E - Reddish-brown crowns of trees attacked by I. typographus.
Stand mortality caused by Ips typographus.
F - Stand mortality caused by I. typographus.
Reddish-brown frass at the base of tree attacked by Ips typographus.
G - Reddish-brown frass at the base of tree attacked by I. typographus.

Photo credits

  • A Gyorgy Csoka, Hungary Forest Research Institute, Image 1231225, www.invasive.org, Jan. 5, 2004
  • B Louis-Michel Nageleisen, Département de la Santé des Forêts, France, Image 1190030, www.invasive.org, Feb. 5, 2004
  • C Milos Knizek, Forestry and Game Management Research Institute, Czechia, Image 1191005, www.invasive.org, Feb. 5, 2004
  • D Louis-Michel Nageleisen, Département de la Santé des Forêts, France, Image 1190027, www.invasive.org, Feb. 5, 2004
  • E Louis-Michel Nageleisen, Département de la Santé des Forêts, France, Image 1190031, www.invasive.org, Feb. 5, 2004
  • F Petr Kapitola, Forestry and Game Management Research Institute, Czechia, Image 1191001, www.invasive.org, Feb. 5, 2004
  • G Norwegian Forest Research Institute, www.skogforsk.no
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