bark beetle


bark beetle
any of numerous small, cylindrical beetles of the family Scolytidae that nest under the bark of hardwood trees, leaving intricate tracings on the wood. Also called ambrosia beetle, engraver beetle.
[1860-65]

* * *

Any member of the beetle family Scolytidae, many of which severely damage trees.

Bark beetles are cylindrical, brown or black, and usually less than 0.25 in. (6 mm) long. A male and females (as many as 60 females with each male) bore into a tree and form a chamber where each female deposits her eggs. The emerging larvae bore away from the chamber, forming a characteristic series of tunnels. Different species attack particular trees, damaging roots, stems, seeds, or fruits. Some species transmit disease (e.g., elm bark beetles carry spores of the fungal Dutch elm disease).

Bark beetle (Dendroctonus valens)

William E. Ferguson

* * *

insect
also called  Engraver Beetle,  
 any of more than 2,000 species of bark beetle (order Coleoptera) that exist worldwide and are cylindrical, usually under 6 mm (0.25 inch) long, brown or black in colour, and often very destructive. The male and female bore into a tree and form an egg chamber. At times, as many as 60 females are found with each male. The female deposits her eggs in niches along the sides of the chamber. After the eggs hatch, the larvae bore away from the chamber, forming a characteristic series of tunnels. Each larva pupates at the end of its tunnel and emerges as an adult through a hole bored in the bark.

      Different species of bark beetles attack particular trees, damaging roots, stems, seeds, or fruits. Plant diseases are transmitted by some beetles. For example, the elm bark beetles (elm bark beetle) of the genera Scolytus and Hylurgopinus carry the spores of the fungal Dutch elm disease. When bark is removed from affected trees, the arrangement of the galleries can be seen on the wood surface. Each species of elm bark beetle produces a distinctive gallery pattern. Most species of Ips and Dendroctonus attack pines. The larvae of the clover root borer, Hylastinus obscurus, damage clover roots.

      Other insects sometimes included in this family are the ambrosia beetles, also called timber beetles, which bore into the wood of trees, destroying significant amounts of timber. The female constructs a long central gallery, off of which are the egg chambers. On a pile of excrement and wood chips in the main chamber, she cultivates a fungus for food. The galleries of the ambrosia beetle are recognized by their uniform size and dark stain, which is caused by the fungus growing on the wall.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bark beetle — Bark bee tle (Zo[ o]l.) A small beetle of many species (family {Scolytid[ae]}), which in the larval state bores under or in the bark of trees, often doing great damage. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bark-beetle — barkˈ beetle noun Any beetle of the family Scolytidae, tunnellers in and under bark • • • Main Entry: ↑bark …   Useful english dictionary

  • bark beetle — ☆ bark beetle n. any of a number of small weevils (family Curculionidae), the larvae and adults of which burrow under the bark of trees, esp. conifers, and feed on the inner bark, sometimes causing extensive damage …   English World dictionary

  • Bark beetle — The unrelated sawyer beetles (Monochamus) and some other wood boring beetle taxa (especially Cucujoidea) are sometimes called bark beetles too. Bark beetles Mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae …   Wikipedia

  • bark beetle — noun small beetle that bores tunnels in the bark and wood of trees; related to weevils • Hypernyms: ↑beetle • Hyponyms: ↑Dutch elm beetle, ↑Scolytus multistriatus, ↑spruce bark beetle, ↑Dendroctonus rufipennis • …   Useful english dictionary

  • bark beetle — bark′ bee tle n. ent any of numerous small, cylindrical beetles of the family Scolytidae that burrow under the bark of hardwood trees, leaving intricate tracings on the wood • Etymology: 1860–65 …   From formal English to slang

  • bark beetle — small beetle that digs tunnels in the bark of trees …   English contemporary dictionary

  • bark beetle — noun a small wood boring beetle that tunnels under the bark of trees. [Family Scolytidae: many species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • bark beetle — /ˈbak bitl/ (say bahk beetl) noun any beetle of the family Curculionidae, the adults and larvae of which do great damage to living trees, especially to conifers …   Australian English dictionary

  • bark beetle — noun Date: 1862 any of numerous beetles (family Scolytidae) that bore under the bark of trees both as a larva and as an adult …   New Collegiate Dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.