Agricultural entomology: Typographer or bark beetle of spruce

Agricultural entomology: Typographer or bark beetle of spruce

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Classification and host plants

Class: Insects
Order: Beetles
Suborder: Adefagi
Family: Bark beetles
Genus: Ips
Species: I. typographus L.

Host plants: Firs, Larches, less frequently other Conifers.

Identification and damage

The Typographer is a small cylindrical beetle (about 4-5 mm long); it has a brownish-black color with yellowish or orange shades due to the presence of hairs that can be concentrated, sometimes, in some parts of the body. The larvae are endophytic and xylophagous. The damage is determined by both adults and larvae; in some cases it can also be very serious. The adults move to the level of the larger wood organs (stem, large branches) and, often in the basal part of the trunks, begin to pierce the rind, to move under the cortical area, between the phloem and the change. In this position they begin to excavate a tunnel or a niche for oviposition; subsequently the females dig tunnels, a few centimeters (6-7 cm) long, and with a diameter of a few millimeters. The newborn larvae, starting from these maternal galleries, dig single lateral galleries that radiate outwards, drawing characteristic subcortical figures. The larvae mature in these galleries, originating the adults who overwinter, or who start other generations, depending on the environment and climate. This insect can be primary phytophagous, but also secondary phytophagous, attacking already decayed plants. The affected plants show an evident deterioration with chlorosis, redness and desiccation of part of the cimal.

Printer or Bostrico spruce - Ips typographus L. (photo J.K. Lindsey

Printer or Bostrico spruce - Ips typographus L. (photo


The fight against this phytophagus is of an agronomic preventive type.
It consists in maintaining a good physiological and phytosanitary state of the plants; furthermore, for the specimens of gardens and public parks, a constant pruning of rimonda is advisable, to remove the spoils or the perishable parts which can be an excellent substrate for these phytophages.
Last but not least, it is the right pedo-climatic position of the species; in fact, planting plants in unsuitable environments always causes stunted vegetation, with weak plants that are easily subject to attacks by diseases or phytophages. The chemical fight against Pissode is not applicable for the poor results it can produce. In nature the most important controllers of these phytophages are birds, especially the Peaks.

Video: Evaluating a Beetle-Killed Spruce Tree (May 2022).