Ips typographus (eight-toothed bark beetle)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Habitat List
- Hosts/Species Affected
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Natural enemies
- Notes on Natural Enemies
- Means of Movement and Dispersal
- Plant Trade
- Wood Packaging
- Environmental Impact
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Ips typographus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Preferred Common Name
- eight-toothed bark beetle
Other Scientific Names
- Bostrichus octodentatus Paykull, 1800
- Dermestes typographus Linnaeus, 1758
- Ips japonicus Niisima, 1909
- Tomicus typographus (Linnaeus, 1758)
International Common Names
- English: bark beetle, eight-dentated; engraver, eight-spined; spruce bark beetle
- Spanish: barrenillo tipografo del abeto rojo
- French: bostryche typographe; grand rongeur de l'epicea; grand scolyte de l'épicéa; le typographe; scolyte typographe
- Russian: koroed tipograf
Local Common Names
- Czech Republic: lýkozrout smrkový
- Denmark: typograf
- Estonia: kuuse-kooreürask
- Finland: kirjanpainaja
- Germany: Borkenkaefer, Ajanfichten-; Buchdrucker; Buchdrucker, Ajanfichten-
- Hungary: betuzoszú
- Italy: bostrico tipografo
- Japan: Yatuba-kikuimusi
- Norway: granbarkbille
- Poland: kornik drukarz
- Slovakia: lýkozrut smrekový
- Sweden: 8-tandad barkborre; granbarkborre
- IPSXTY (Ips typographus)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Metazoa
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Subphylum: Uniramia
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Coleoptera
- Family: Scolytidae
- Genus: Ips
- Species: Ips typographus
DescriptionTop of page
The adults are small (4.2-5.5 mm long), cylindrical, dark-brown, shiny and hairy. The antennae are clavate. The frontal part of the pronotum is obliquely cut, dentate and squamate, and the hind part is stippled. There are rows of depressed points on the glossy elytra, with spaces in between them. The posterior edges of the elytra form a characteristic collar shape, with dents on both sides. There are four teeth on these edges and the third tooth is capitate. The rear side of the elytral declivity is greasy and shiny (when the insect is viewed from the rear).
The eggs are whitish-grey, ovate and small <1 mm long). They are laid individually in niches along both sides of the maternal gallery (30-80 eggs per female).
The larvae and adults are similar in size. They are white, cylindrical and legless, with small, brown, chitinous heads and brown mandibles.
The pupa has many free segments (pupa libera). It is white and similar in size to the adult (up to 5 mm).
DistributionTop of page
In Europe, including the European part of Russia, I. typographus is widely distributed in the distribution range of its main host, Picea abies. It is present in both the lowlands and mountains (up to the upper timber line). The distribution in Asia is trans-Palearctic, covering Russia (Siberia and the Far East), China, Korea and Japan. Recently, I. typographus outbreaks have developed in Georgia, Asia (on Picea orientalis) and in some provinces of China.
I. typographus has been intercepted at USA ports of entry but no establishment has been recorded so far (Haack, 2001).
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 16 Aug 2021
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Tajikistan||Present, Few occurrences|
|Turkey||Present, Few occurrences|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Present||Native|
|Ireland||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|-Sardinia||Absent, Formerly present|
|Portugal||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|-Russian Far East||Present, Localized||Native|
|-Western Siberia||Present, Localized|
|Spain||Absent, Confirmed absent by survey|
|United Kingdom||Present, Transient under eradication|
|-England||Present, Transient under eradication|
|-Scotland||Absent, Intercepted only|
|Canada||Absent, Formerly present|
|-Ontario||Absent, Formerly present|
|United States||Absent, Intercepted only|
|-Pennsylvania||Absent, Intercepted only|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page
I. typographus is not a quarantine organism in Europe. However, the UK, where Picea abies (Norway spruce) does not naturally occur, is a protected zone against the introduction of this species (Fielding et al., 1994). There is also a risk of I. typographus establishing in the USA, where it has already been intercepted at ports of entry (Haack, 2001). Organismo Internacional Regional De Sanidad Agropecuaria (OIRSA) lists this species as a quarantine pest.
HabitatTop of page
I. typographus occurs in conifer, mainly spruce, forests both in lowlands and in the mountains, up to the timber line. Pure spruce stands are the most endangered by I. typographus, but also the clusters of spruces occurring as an admixture in stands can be successfully infested. Trees stressed by abiotic (drought, wind, snow) or biotic (defoliating insects, fungal diseases) factors are predisposed for the attacks.
Habitat ListTop of page
Hosts/Species AffectedTop of page
The main host trees of I. typographus in Eurasia are spruces, Picea spp. (Picea abies in Europe and other species in Asia). I. typographus is widespread in the distribution range of its host trees. Attacks by this beetle were also observed on other conifers such as firs (Abies spp.), pines (Pinus spp.) and larches (Larix spp.).
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Abies sachalinensis (Sakhalin fir)||Pinaceae||Main|
|Picea abies (common spruce)||Pinaceae||Main|
|Picea jezoensis (Yeddo spruce)||Pinaceae||Other|
|Picea obovata (Siberian spruce)||Pinaceae||Main|
|Picea orientalis (oriental spruce)||Pinaceae||Main|
|Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine)||Pinaceae||Other|
|Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir)||Pinaceae||Other|
Growth StagesTop of page
SymptomsTop of page
Trees that are attacked or infested by I. typographus have discoloured crowns. The needles are lighter in colour, form mats and often fall to the ground. They are green and thus visible under the tree. However, under certain circumstances, especially during a mass (rapid) attack, this symptom may be absent.
The frass (light-brown sawdust) can be found on the bark in the basal part of the stems of standing trees. The entrance holes of the beetles are visible on the surface of the bark. Initially these are found in the stem below the crown base. Subsequent attacks occur in the lower parts of the stem, including at human eye-level. Woodpeckers, in search of developing larvae, often break off the bark of attacked stems.
The gallery systems under the bark extend from a nuptial chamber. There are one to four regular, vertically extending maternal galleries and perpendicular wavy larval galleries.
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Leaves / abnormal colours|
|Leaves / abnormal leaf fall|
|Leaves / yellowed or dead|
|Stems / internal feeding|
|Whole plant / discoloration|
|Whole plant / frass visible|
|Whole plant / internal feeding|
|Whole plant / plant dead; dieback|
Biology and EcologyTop of page
The biology, ecology and population dynamics of I. typographus was summarized by Christiansen and Bakke (1988) and Skuhravy (2002). Swarming in the spring strongly depends on the temperature. The beetles start to fly when the air temperature is approximately 11.7 to 16.5°C. Flight is variable within populations and between sites. In the mountains, spring swarming depends on the altitude and exposition of the slopes, which affect the thermal conditions (Coeln et al., 1996). The flight starts earlier on sunny slopes and at lower altitudes. The beetles demonstrate maximum flight activity at approximately 25-30°C. Flight ceases above this temperature (Lobinger, 1994). Under normal conditions, the duration of the flight period is approximately 2 to 3 weeks, but in the rain and cold weather it may extend to 5 or 6 weeks.
In the spring, the adults that have overwintered undergo a temperature-dependent maturation process before migrating to breeding sites (Forsse, 1989). The males are responsible for finding the host tree. The localization of trees for colonization is mainly based on the chemical recognition of susceptible spruces (primary attraction). Subsequently, the beetles attacking the trees and producing aggregation pheromones, attract the males (Bakke et al., 1977). Host trees have defence mechanisms against attacking beetles (e.g. resin exudates and changes in the chemical composition of the phloem) (Christiansen et al., 1987). The fungus Ceratocystis polonica [Ophiostoma polonicum], which is transmitted by the beetles, is used to overcome this reaction (Christiansen, 1983). The males bore into the bark and prepare the nuptial chambers (5-7 mm in diameter). They then attract one to three (or four) females using sexual pheromones.
After mating, the females start to prepare the maternal galleries, parallel to the cambium fibres, inside the phloem and bark. If there is one female per male, the maternal gallery is directed towards the top of the tree. However, if there are two females per male, the galleries extend upwards and downwards. When there are three females, one gallery extends upwards and two galleries extend downwards. The egg niches are located on both sides of the maternal galleries. Each female lays 30-80 eggs. Oviposition and fecundity are dependent on the population/infestation density and temperature, where lower temperatures inhibit fecundity (Wermelinger and Seifert, 1999).
Most beetles re-emerge after their first brood. This process, called sister generation, is also determined by temperature, but a high breeding density also decreases the time spent in the tree (Anderbrant, 1989).
In favourable climatic conditions, the full development of one generation takes from 2 to 2.5 months. Thus, the number of generations per year depends on the climatic conditions. In the lowlands of Europe, the insect usually has two generations (excluding sister generations), but during extremely hot and long summers the number of generations can reach three. In the mountains, especially at higher altitudes, as well as in the north of Eurasia, only one generation can develop.
In the summer, temperature determines whether individuals of the new generation become potential migrants or enter diapause. I. typographus populations can migrate by flying above the forest canopy (Forsse and Solbreck, 1985) and disperse over tens of kilometres.
The insect overwinters in all development stages (larva, pupa and adult). The larvae, pupae and adults overwinter in the galleries and the adults can also overwinter in stumps, litter or mineral soil.
Natural enemiesTop of page
|Natural enemy||Type||Life stages||Specificity||References||Biological control in||Biological control on|
|Bacillus thuringiensis thuringiensis||Pathogen|
|Beauveria bassiana||Pathogen||Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Pupae|
|Eurytoma arctica||Parasite||Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Pupae|
|Eurytoma morio||Parasite||Arthropods|Larvae; Arthropods|Pupae|
|Thanasimus formicarius||Predator||Adults; Arthropods|Larvae||Germany||Picea|
Notes on Natural EnemiesTop of page
The complex of natural enemies of I. typographus is rich and well recognised (Girits, 1975). There are 20 species of Hymenopteran parasitoids recognized from Poland (Balazy and Michalski, 1962) and 16 species from Siberia (Kolomiets and Bogdanova, 1980). These are mostly from the families Braconidae and Pteromalidae. The complex of predators is also rich. Weslien (1992) listed 11 insect species but this author stated that approximately 140 species of arthropods have been documented from I. typographus galleries. Kolomiets and Bogdanova (1980) listed 40 species of predators from Siberia. The main predators are beetles from the families Cleridae, Staphylinidae, Histeridae and Rhizophagidae, but the larvae of Medetera sp. are also effective. Entomopathogenic fungi, mainly Beauveria bassiana, are also important mortality factors. However, the impact of natural enemies is very variable as it is dependent on environmental conditions, population density and the phase of the outbreak (maximum impact occurs in the retrogradation phase).
Means of Movement and DispersalTop of page
Natural Dispersal (Non-Biotic)
The beetles are able to fly over long distances. Wind and air movements can be additional factors enabling dispersion up to 43 km (Nilssen, 1984).
Movement in Trade
The transportation of wood that has not been debarked is a possible way of transporting I. typographus outside its natural range.
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Bark||arthropods/adults; arthropods/pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||arthropods/adults; arthropods/eggs; arthropods/larvae; arthropods/pupae||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Fruits (inc. pods)|
|Growing medium accompanying plants|
|True seeds (inc. grain)|
Wood PackagingTop of page
|Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Loose wood packing material|
|Processed or treated wood|
|Solid wood packing material with bark|
|Solid wood packing material without bark|
ImpactTop of page
I. typographus is considered to be one of the most destructive insect pests of spruce trees (Picea spp.) in Europe (e.g. Grégoire and Evans, 2004; Rouault et al., 2006). It reproduces in the wood of spruce trees that have recently died, but when abundant it can colonize and kill living trees (Schwenke, 1974; Weslien et al., 1989). It is able to exploit short-lived resources and to rapidly multiply (Wermelinger, 2004). Outbreaks can develop very quickly in spruce stands that are damaged by wind or snow, or stressed by drought or air pollution (Grodzki et al., 2004). During such outbreaks, the population may increase sufficiently to start an epidemic. In an epidemic situation, I. typographus can overcome the resistance of healthy trees (Hedgren and Schroeder, 2004).
The outbreaks in Europe have been known since the fifteenth century (Germany). In the twentieth century, several outbreaks, in various parts of Europe, were recorded (Skuhravý, 2002):
- 1914, 1.2 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in the western Carpathians.
- 1918-1922, 1.2 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in Poland.
- 1928-1934, 4.4 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- 1941-1953, 3 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in Slovakia.
- 1941-1945, 2.6 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in Austria.
- 1943-1953, approximately 22 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in Germany.
- 1944-1950, 2.3 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in Poland (in the north-east and mountains).
- 1945-1952, 3 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in Slovakia.
- 1950-1953, 2.8 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in north-east Poland.
- 1957-1961, 1.5 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in the Ukrainian Carpathians.
- 1966-1970, 1.4 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in Czech Sudeten.
- 1977-1982, 2.8 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in Norway and Sweden.
- 1981-1987, 7 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in northern Poland and 2 million m³ in Sudeten.
- 1985-87, 1.9 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in Germany (Hessen).
- 1991-1999, 6.7 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in the Czech Republic.
- 1993-1997, 8.2 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in Austria and 10.4 million m³ in Belarus.
- 1993-1997 (1999), 5.4 million m³ of spruce trees were killed in Slovakia and 8.7 million m³ in Lithuania.
Since the turn of the 21st century, in connection with extensive windthrows (uprooted or broken trees) caused by the hurricane-like events ‘Lothar’ (1999 - 185 million m3 wind damage wood in Europe) and ‘Kyrill’ (2007 - 45 million m3 wind damage wood in Europe) (Grodzki, 2013), new outbreaks have developed in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Lithuania (Grodzki, 2005), Georgia and Asia, including China. A recent outbreak in Central Europe has been ongoing since 2003 (e.g. Krehan and Steyrer, 2004; Lubojacký and Knízek, 2013).
The sanitary felling of premature trees and stands, resulting from bark beetle attacks, generates considerable economical losses in managed, productive forests by reducing wood production. The restoration of destroyed stands is expensive and work- and time-consuming. Increasing damage in recent years in Central Europe has caused an enormous economic impact on forestry due to timber losses and high expenditures for control and sanitation measures (Forster, 1993; Turcáni and Novotný, 1999; Schelhaas et al., 2003).
Environmental ImpactTop of page
I. typographus is an essential component of every spruce forest ecosystem. As a pioneer it colonizes dying and newly dead trees and thus starts the decomposition of bark and wood (Wermelinger, 2004). Species like I. typographus are key factors affecting forest succession in Europe and Asia (Weslien, 1992; Viiri, 1997).
Climate warming has allowed the bark beetle to complete life cycles at altitudes which were previously unsuitable for its development, and thus it may seriously affect the ecological functions of mountain forests (Schönenberger et al., 2005). In local outbreaks, tree or stand mortality can result in the deforestation of mountain slopes and related disturbances in the water regime on large areas. When there is a total decline of the forest on large surfaces of mountains, the reforestation of such damaged areas can be very problematic, as well as work- and time-consuming (Grodzki, 1997; Skuhravy, 2002; Schönenberger et al., 2005).
Detection and InspectionTop of page
The frass (brown sawdust) on the bark surface and at the tree base is easy to find during fine weather. However, this will disappear after rain.
When looking under the bark, the nuptial chambers, maternal galleries, eggs, larvae and pupae (depending on the extent of insect development) are easy to find. In the advanced phase of attack, the entrance holes and galleries inside the bark can be found on standing trees at human eye-level.
The attacked trees, usually localized at stand edges or in light gaps inside the stand, occur in groups. However, individually attacked trees may also occur (depending on the insect's population density and the vitality/resistance of the trees). In stands damaged by wind or snow, the broken and fallen trees are infested first. The emerging beetles (if the infested material is not removed from the stand) usually attack the nearest trees at the stand edges, especially on the sunny sides.
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page
I. typographus and I. amitinus are similar in all stages of development. The adults of I. amitinus are smaller (3.5-4.5 mm) and slimmer than I. typographus. The frontal part of the pronotum of I. amitinus is roundly cut and the rear sides of the elytra are shiny. The gallery systems of I. amitinus are longer, with three to seven irregular, long and wavy maternal galleries extending from the nuptial chamber.
I. typographus is also similar in all stages of development to I. duplicatus. The adults of I. duplicatus are smaller (2.8-4.0 mm) and the frontal part of the pronotum is roundly cut. The second and third teeth on the posterior edge of the elytra are joined and the rear sides of the elytra are shiny. The gallery systems of I. duplicatus are shorter, with one to five regular and short maternal galleries extending from the nuptial chamber.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.
The aim of managing I. typographus is to minimize attacks on living trees. The measures most commonly applied for this purpose are clearing windthrows (trees uprooted or broken by wind), sanitation felling of infested trees and the installation of trapping devices (Wermelinger, 2004). Expert systems (Netherer and Nopp-Mayr, 2005), phenology models (Baier et al., 2007) and the combination of both implemented in dynamic simulation models (e.g. Seidl et al., 2007; Fahse and Heurich, 2011; Jönsson et al., 2012) have recently been proposed to improve the assessment of infestation risks by I. typographus.
Cultural Control and Sanitary Methods
The felling and removal of infested trees from forests is one of the most effective control methods (Stadelmann et al., 2013). Sanitation felling of infested trees involves the harvesting of windthrown timber (to remove breeding substrates), as well as the sanitation felling of infested standing trees (Wermelinger, 2004). It is the most widespread measure used to defeat I. typographus. This procedure is effective provided that (i) the trees are cut before the adult beetles emerge; (ii) the logs are debarked before storing in or near the forest, or alternatively removed from the forest; and (iii) the brood is disposed of in some appropriate way if there are teneral beetles present in the bark (Wermelinger, 2004). When insect development is further advanced (pupae or young adults inside the bark) the debarking of logs is recommended, followed by the destruction, processing or composting of the bark and insects. Alternatively, the infested logs may be sprayed with or immersed in water, which stops insect development and causes considerable mortality. Spraying infested logs with insecticides, such as pyrethroids, is used locally. Application rates vary according to the legislation in different countries.
Trap trees, pheromone traps, treated trap trees, standing trap trees and lure-baited fallen wood have been frequently used to capture and reduce numbers of I. typographus (Grégoire and Evans, 2004; Zahradník and Knízek, 2007). Trap-trees (freshly-felled spruces) are exposed for infestation and then removed or debarked. The effectiveness of these trap-trees or logs can be increased by the use of attached, synthetic pheromone dispensers (Drumont et al., 1992; Lubojacký and Holusa, 2014). Trap trees have been used to capture I. typographus for more than 200 years (Pfeil, 1827), and remains an effective suppression method.
The approach used to control I. typographus changed in the 1970s with the discovery and production of an aggregation pheromone for the species (e.g. Bakke, 1970; Rudinsky et al., 1970; Bakke et al., 1977). Since the 1970s, traps baited with pheromone lures (e.g. Bakke, 1982; Furuta et al., 1984; Bakke, 1989) have been commonly used for monitoring or mass trapping of I. typographus (Jakuš, 1998; Schlyter and Birgersson, 1999; Hrasovec et al., 2011).
The fungus Beauveria bassiana (Bals.) Vuill. was tested for biological control (Vaupel and Zimmermann, 1996; Kreutz, 2001); however, the fungus was not passed on to the progeny (Vaupel and Zimmermann, 1996). Additionally, there are technical and ecological limitations to the application of spores to timber or to the forest litter containing overwintering I. typographus (Wermelinger, 2004).
Spraying infested logs with insecticides, such as pyrethroids (if not restricted for any reasons), is used locally.
ReferencesTop of page
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