Pine Bark Beetles in Florida

Coleoptera: Scolytidae, Dendroctonus spp., Ips spp.

Five bark beetles

More than 30 species of bark beetles are associated with pine trees in Florida, but only five species are likely to be serious pests. These species, pictured above, are easily distinguished based on a few morphological and behavioral characters. Adults are separated into the two genera based on the posterior declivity being either rounded and smooth or depressed and surrounded by spines. Size alone is enough to distinguish between the two species of Dendroctonus, while size and the number of spines will separate the three Ips species. The size, shape, and location of the galleries made by adults and larvae as they move through the inner bark can also be used to identify these bark beetles.

More information about each species is presented below.

Southern pine beetle, SPB, Dendroctonus frontalis Zimmermann
SPB adult SPB galleries

Characters for distinguishing the southern pine beetle include:

Black turpentine beetle, BTB, Dendroctonus terebrans (Olivier)
BTB adult BTB larvae

Characters for identifying the black turpentine beetle include:

Fourspined ips, small southern pine engraver, Ips avulsus (Eichhoff)
Ips avulsus adult I.a. gallery

Characters for distinguishing the fourspined Ips include:

Eastern fivespined ips, Ips grandicollis (Eichhoff)
Ips grandicollis adult I.g. gallery

Characters for distinguishing the eastern fivespined Ips include:

Sixspined ips, Ips calligraphus (Germar)
Ips calligraphus adult I.c. gallery

Characters for distinguishing the sixspined Ips include:

Additional online information available at:

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Credits -- The images above were extracted from "Forest Insects and Their Damage," a two-volume set of Kodak Photo CDs produced by the Southern Forest Insect Work Conference. For further information check out the SFIWC web site.

Prepared by John L. Foltz, 17 Nov 1997. Last modified 4 June 2001.