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Pityokteines curvidens
(fir engraver beetle)

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Pityokteines curvidens (fir engraver beetle)

Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
P. curvidens: close-up of newly emerged male.
TitleMale
CaptionP. curvidens: close-up of newly emerged male.
CopyrightFabrizio Pennacchio
P. curvidens: close-up of newly emerged male.
MaleP. curvidens: close-up of newly emerged male.Fabrizio Pennacchio
P. curvidens: close-up of mature larvae removed from galleries.
TitleLarvae
CaptionP. curvidens: close-up of mature larvae removed from galleries.
CopyrightFabrizio Pennacchio
P. curvidens: close-up of mature larvae removed from galleries.
LarvaeP. curvidens: close-up of mature larvae removed from galleries.Fabrizio Pennacchio
P. curvidens: pupa inside the pupal cell.
TitlePupa
CaptionP. curvidens: pupa inside the pupal cell.
CopyrightFabrizio Pennacchio
P. curvidens: pupa inside the pupal cell.
PupaP. curvidens: pupa inside the pupal cell.Fabrizio Pennacchio
P. curvidens: newly formed male inside the pupal cell.
TitleTeneral male
CaptionP. curvidens: newly formed male inside the pupal cell.
CopyrightFabrizio Pennacchio
P. curvidens: newly formed male inside the pupal cell.
Teneral maleP. curvidens: newly formed male inside the pupal cell.Fabrizio Pennacchio
P. curvidens: mature larvae in galleries.
TitleLarvae
CaptionP. curvidens: mature larvae in galleries.
CopyrightFabrizio Pennacchio
P. curvidens: mature larvae in galleries.
LarvaeP. curvidens: mature larvae in galleries.Fabrizio Pennacchio
Typical gallery pattern of P. curvidens.
TitleGallery pattern
CaptionTypical gallery pattern of P. curvidens.
CopyrightFabrizio Pennacchio
Typical gallery pattern of P. curvidens.
Gallery patternTypical gallery pattern of P. curvidens.Fabrizio Pennacchio
System of galleries excavated by one male and three females of P. curvidens.
TitleGallery system
CaptionSystem of galleries excavated by one male and three females of P. curvidens.
CopyrightFabrizio Pennacchio
System of galleries excavated by one male and three females of P. curvidens.
Gallery systemSystem of galleries excavated by one male and three females of P. curvidens.Fabrizio Pennacchio
System of galleries excavated by one male and four females of P. curvidens.
TitleGallery system
CaptionSystem of galleries excavated by one male and four females of P. curvidens.
CopyrightFabrizio Pennacchio
System of galleries excavated by one male and four females of P. curvidens.
Gallery systemSystem of galleries excavated by one male and four females of P. curvidens.Fabrizio Pennacchio
Typical gallery pattern of Pityokteines vorontzovi.
TitleGallery pattern
CaptionTypical gallery pattern of Pityokteines vorontzovi.
CopyrightFabrizio Pennacchio
Typical gallery pattern of Pityokteines vorontzovi.
Gallery patternTypical gallery pattern of Pityokteines vorontzovi.Fabrizio Pennacchio
Silver firs (Abies alba) killed by P. curvidens. Vallombrosa Forest, Florence, Italy.
TitleField symptoms
CaptionSilver firs (Abies alba) killed by P. curvidens. Vallombrosa Forest, Florence, Italy.
CopyrightFabrizio Pennacchio
Silver firs (Abies alba) killed by P. curvidens. Vallombrosa Forest, Florence, Italy.
Field symptomsSilver firs (Abies alba) killed by P. curvidens. Vallombrosa Forest, Florence, Italy.Fabrizio Pennacchio

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Pityokteines curvidens (Germar 1824)

Preferred Common Name

  • fir engraver beetle

Other Scientific Names

  • Bostrichus calligraphus Duftschmid, 1825
  • Bostrichus orthographus Duftschmid, 1825
  • Bostrichus psilonotus Germar, 1824
  • Ips curvidens Reitter, 1894
  • Orthotomicus curvidens Ferrari, 1867
  • Tomicus curvidens Germar, 1824

International Common Names

  • English: bark beetle, silver fir; engraver beetle, fir; silver fir beetle
  • Spanish: barrenillo del abeto blanco
  • French: bostryche curvidenté; rongeur du sapin blanc; scolyte curvidenté

Local Common Names

  • Germany: Borkenkaefer, Krummzaehniger Tannen-; krummzähniger tannenborkenkäfer
  • Italy: Bostrico dai denti curvi; Bostrico dell'abete bianco

EPPO code

  • PITKCU (Pityokteines curvidens)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Metazoa
  •         Phylum: Arthropoda
  •             Subphylum: Uniramia
  •                 Class: Insecta
  •                     Order: Coleoptera
  •                         Family: Scolytidae
  •                             Genus: Pityokteines
  •                                 Species: Pityokteines curvidens

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

Top of page Scolytidae belong to the superfamily Curculionoidea in the order Coleoptera and include about 6000 known species divided into two subfamilies, 25 tribes and 215 genera (Wood, 1986). The Holarctic genus Pityokteines contains nine species, six of them from the Nearctic and the other three from the Palaearctic. Most of them feed on Abies, although one North American species, P. ornatus (Sweine), lives on Pinus ponderosa and sometimes on other pines or on Picea pungens (Wood, 1982; Wood and Bright, 1992).

Pityokteines curvidens was described by Germar in 1824 as Tomicus curvidens. It was also included in Ips De Geer and in Orthotomicus Ferrari. The generic designation Pityokteines dates from 1911 (Fuchs, 1911) and P. curvidens is the type species of the genus.

Description

Top of page Eggs
The eggs are whitish and translucent, with a thin shiny chorion.

Larvae
Larvae are, apodous, with a whitish body and dark head. The mature larvae reach about 4 mm in length (see Pictures).

Pupa
Pupae are of the exarate type, whitish and bright, bearing two caudal spines. They can reach 3.6 mm in length (see Pictures). No morphological studies of pupae are known.

Adults
Adults are evenly blackish with antennae and legs yellowish-brown and with marked sexual dimorphism. Body 2.7-3.2 mm long in males, 2.5-3.0 in females, subcylindrical and robust. Integumental surface bright, including the elytral declivity. Pronotum bearing spiculae not rising much from the surface; they are bright and irregularly spaced; in the basal part, they are replaced by a clear punctuation but a wide median strip is bright and smooth; the highest part of pronotum is in the centre where spines are replaced by punctures; the pubescence on pronotum is abundant, the one between the spiculae with apex curved posteriorly, the one on the basal half with apex curved anteriorly. The elytral striae have rows of punctures that progressively increase in diameter and depth towards the elytral declivity. Pubescence on elytral declivity long and straight. Sutural interstria slightly protruding, with a regular row of setae on both sides of sutura.

Males bearing three pairs of prominent denticles on the elytral declivity; sutural denticle vertical with apex sometimes directed anteriorly; the median tooth is strongest, hook-shaped, with rounded apex directed towards the suture and inferiorly; apical tooth with a regularly increasing diameter, slightly curved superiorly with pointed apex. Frons bearing sparse and fine pubescence (see Pictures).

Females with teeth on the elytral declivity reduced and approximately the same shape. Frons with small median prominence and dense tuft of long yellow hairs protruding towards anterior margin of pronotum. Hairs on frons and pronotum of the same length.

Tibiae strongly indented: the first and second teeth rather reduced in the basal half, three big teeth on the outer distal margin; two apical teeth, one strong and curved on the inner margin, the other smaller and medial. Tarsi cylindrical. Metasternum and abdominal sternites bearing long yellow hairs sloping posteriorly, similar to those on the upper surface. Wing with anal lobe well separated from the rest of wing surface by a deep, wide retraction of the margin.

Distribution

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P. curvidens belongs to the European-Asian chorotype and its geographical distribution follows that of the European-Ponto-Caucasian species of Abies. In Europe, it is frequently associated with Abies alba and is particularly present in the central diffusion area of the conifer: central Europe: Jura, Alps, Sudeti, Carpathians, Transylvanian Alps (Balachowsky, 1949; Hierholzer, 1954; Weiser, 1961; Negru, 1966; Schedl, 1980; Titovsek, 1983; Bovey, 1987; Burakowski et al., 1992; Pfeffer, 1995), and in isolated stands of this coniferous tree (Pyrenees, Corsica, Apennines, Macedonia, Balkan Mountains) (Bezares, 1929; Balachowsky, 1949; Zivojinovic, 1950; Karaman, 1964; Plaza and Gil, 1982; Tsankov, 1989). P. curvidens is found on many other Mediterranean Abies species: A. cephalonica (Greece) (Kailidis, 1964; 1966; Schedl, 1967; Chararas, 1975), A. nordmanniana (Caucasus, Turkey) (Schimitschek, 1940/1941; 1944; Kakuliya and Shalibashvili, 1976), A. borisii regis, A. bornmülleriana, A. cilicica (northern Anatolia) (Schedl, 1959; 1961; Chararas, 1978; Sarikaya and Avci, 2002). Furthermore, this bark beetle has been recorded in Japan (Murayama, 1954; Nobuchi, 1974), Argentina, South Africa and Greenland (Kleine, 1913; Bruch, 1914).

P. curvidens has a wide ecological range and many European authors have dealt with it in the last century (Cecconi, 1924; Schimitschek, 1941; 1944; Balachowsky, 1949; Chararas, 1962; Karaman, 1964; Schedl, 1967; Kailidis and Georgevits, 1971; Pennacchio et al., 2002b).

Distribution Table

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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.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasiveReferenceNotes

Asia

Georgia (Republic of)PresentNative Invasive Kakuliya and Shalibashvili, 1976
JapanPresentIntroduced Not invasive Nobuchi, 1974
-HonshuPresentIntroduced Not invasive Murayama, 1954
TurkeyPresentNative Invasive Schimitschek, 1941; Schimitschek, 1944; Schedl, 1959; Chararas, 1978; Sekendiz, 1987; Sarikaya and Avci, 2002

North America

USA
-MarylandAbsent, intercepted onlyIntroduced Not invasive Haack, 2001
-New YorkAbsent, intercepted onlyIntroduced Not invasive Haack, 2001
-TexasAbsent, intercepted onlyIntroduced Not invasive Haack, 2001

Europe

AustriaPresentNative Invasive Braun, 1941a; Schimitschek, 1936; Schedl, 1980
BelgiumPresentIntroduced Not invasive Leclercq, 1971
Bosnia-HercegovinaPresentNative Invasive Knotek, 1892; Georgijevic, 1966
BulgariaPresentNative Invasive Ruskov, 1928; Tschorbedjiev, 1929; Buresh and Lazarov, 1956; Tsankov, 1989
CroatiaPresentNative Invasive Kestercanek, 1881
Czech RepublicWidespreadNative Invasive Zoufal, 1920
Czechoslovakia (former)WidespreadNative Invasive Weiser, 1961
FrancePresentNative Invasive Balachowsky, 1949; Chararas, 1962
-CorsicaPresentNative Not invasive Balachowsky, 1949
GermanyWidespreadNative Invasive Talenhorst, 1950; Hierholzer, 1954
GreecePresentNative Invasive Kailidis, 1964; Kailidis, 1966; Schedl, 1967; Kailidis and Georgevits, 1972; Chararas, 1975
HungaryPresentNative Invasive Endrodi, 1958
ItalyPresentNative Invasive Pennacchio et al., 2002a; Targioni-Tozzetti, 1879; Targioni-Tozzetti, 1884; Cecconi, 1897; Masutti, 1964; Masutti, 1965
MacedoniaPresentNative Invasive Karaman, 1964
PolandPresentNative Invasive Karpinski, 1931; Burakowski et al., 1992; Kolk, 1992
PortugalPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced Not invasive Oliveira, 1887; Escalera, 1919; Baeta Neves, 1964
RomaniaPresentNative Invasive Borcea, 1924; Borcea, 1930; Marcu, 1930; Negru, 1966; Negru, 1968
Russian FederationPresentNative Invasive Stark, 1952; Krivosheina and Mamaev, 1986
-Northern RussiaPresentIntroduced Not invasive Mandelshtam and Popovichev, 2000
SerbiaPresentNative Invasive Zivojinovic, 1950
SlovakiaPresentNative Invasive Pfeffer, 1928; Roubal, 1941; Capek et al., 1957
SloveniaPresentNative Invasive Titovsek, 1983
SpainRestricted distributionNative Invasive Bezares, 1929; Plaza and Gil, 1982; Martin and Cobos, 1986
SwitzerlandPresentNative Invasive Stierlin, 1898; Schneider-Orelli and Kuhn, 1948; Schneider-Orelli and Maksymov, 1949; Bovey, 1987
UkrainePresentNative Invasive Vasechko, 1971
Yugoslavia (former)PresentNative Invasive Gradojevic, 1939; Kovacevic, 1957; Androic, 1966

History of Introduction and Spread

Top of page The presence of P. curvidens in Japan (Murayama, 1954; Nobuchi, 1974) is likely due to occasional introductions and subsequent naturalisation. According to Schedl (1981), the reports by Kleine (1913), referring to Greenland, South Africa and Argentina but not confirmed by more recent records, are probably invalid and based on misidentification.

Risk of Introduction

Top of page The phytosanitary hazard related to P. curvidens is higher in artificial monoculture stands, especially in those not properly related to the ecological requirements of the coniferous hosts (Chararas, 1958), and where suitable management practices are lacking. The main causes of bark beetle outbreaks are long dry spells, which are becoming increasingly frequent in southern regions of Europe (Kailidis and Markalas, 1988; Rieder, 1990; Tsankov et al., 1994), attacks by defoliating or other insects (Schimitschek, 1936; Kraemer, 1949; Hesco, 1966), and damage caused by storms and snow (Mihalciuc et al., 2001).

Habitat List

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CategorySub-CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Terrestrial
 
Terrestrial – ManagedCultivated / agricultural land Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Protected agriculture (e.g. glasshouse production) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Rail / roadsides Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Urban / peri-urban areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Terrestrial ‑ Natural / Semi-naturalNatural forests Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Riverbanks Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Wetlands Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)
Littoral
Coastal areas Present, no further details Harmful (pest or invasive)

Hosts/Species Affected

Top of page The main host plant is Abies alba. However, P. curvidens is one of the most important bark borer insects of other Abies species, such as A. cephalonica, A. borisii regis., A. bornmülleriana., A. cilicica, A. equi-trojani, and A. nordmanniana. Other trees which serve as hosts to P. curvidens are: Abies sibirica, A. firma, A. sachalinensis, A. balsamea, A. fraseri, Picea abies, P. orientalis, Larix decidua, L. kaempferi, Cedrus libani, Pinus silvestris, P. strobus,, P. brutia., Pseudotsuga menziesii (Kleine, 1934; Chararas, 1962; Wood and Bright, 1987; Pennacchio et al., 2002b).

Growth Stages

Top of page Vegetative growing stage

Symptoms

Top of page The beginning of an attack on a tree by P. curvidens is recognisable on the bark by the emission of frass from the entrance holes of the reproductive galleries, sometimes without other clear symptoms of stress to the tree. The diameter of the entrance holes is about 1.5 mm. The change of the normal canopy colour to light-yellow at first and then red usually takes about two months (see pictures).

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Leaves / abnormal colours
Leaves / abnormal colours
Stems / internal feeding
Stems / internal feeding
Stems / visible frass
Stems / visible frass
Whole plant / discoloration
Whole plant / discoloration
Whole plant / frass visible
Whole plant / frass visible
Whole plant / internal feeding
Whole plant / internal feeding
Whole plant / plant dead; dieback
Whole plant / plant dead; dieback

Biology and Ecology

Top of page The literature on the biology and ecology of Pityokteines curvidens is very rich, the most important papers being those by Kraemer (1950), Chararas (1958; 1962), Kailidis and Georgevits (1971), Vasechko (1971) and Harring (1978).
Physiology and phenology

P. curvidens normally overwinters in the adult stage under the bark of dead trees colonised during the reproductive phase. However, it can also survive the winter under the bark healthy firs, somewhat damaging the infested trees (Braun, 1941b). It frequently overwinters in the larval or pupal stages; in fact it is possible to find parent beetles, differently aged larvae, as well as pupae and newly emerged adults under the bark at the same time. The pupal stage is the most vulnerable to low temperatures. According to Chararas (1962), when the average temperature is under 16°C in September, only larvae overwinter. Adults leave the winter sites and start their reproductive phase from the second half of April or somewhat later according to the climatic conditions, altitude and exposure of the stands (Cecconi, 1924; Chararas, 1962). P. curvidens passes through two or three generations per year under the most favourable conditions in Mediterranean fir stands, whereas it usually has only one generation in Central Europe (Chararas, 1962). When there are two generations, the second one starts in August.

Reproductive biology

P. curvidens is a polygamous species like all others in the genus. After finding suitable trees to colonise, the pioneer males start boring their galleries under the bark, where they feed on living tissues. After 24 to 36 hours of feeding, they begin to release the aggregation pheromone via their frass; the main component is S-ipsenolo ((S)-2-methyl-6-methylene-7-octen-4-ol). Only males release this pheromone, which repels the other two congeneric species, P. spinidens and P. vorontzovi (Harring et al., 1975; Harring and Mori, 1977; Harring, 1978). Thus they rarely colonise the same tree.

A P. curvidens 'family' usually consists of one male plus two, three or rarely four females. The gallery system usually lacks a distinct nuptial chamber hollowed in the alburnum (see Pictures), unlike that of the other congeneric Palaearctic species (see Pictures). The entrance hole is followed by a longitudinal chamber 1-2 cm long; from its end, the females start digging their transverse tunnels, 3-8 cm long, slightly hollowing the alburnum. When there is only one male and two females, the gallery system scheme is the classic double horizontal brace (see Pictures); however, depending on the number of females, it can sometimes be asymmetrically incomplete or more intricate. Each female can lay 25-150 eggs in niches hollowed with their mandibles on both sides of the maternal gallery. After the first egg-laying and after feeding again, the females can dig another short tunnel and lay other eggs, starting a new, delayed generation (Chararas, 1962; Pennacchio et al., 2002b).

Embryonic development can last six days on trees in sunny stands up to 800 m altitude, but can extend to 17 days at higher altitude or on shaded firs. The larvae start feeding and digging galleries, 5-8 cm long, orthogonal to the maternal ones (see Pictures); their development can last from 30 to 50 days depending on the same environmental factors. When mature, the larvae bore into the alburnum, reaching a depth of 1-8 mm, where they dig the pupal cell (6 x 2 mm). There they change into pupae and 10-18 days later into adults (see Pictures). The adults emerge from the tree bark after feeding on phloem tissues for 17-39 days (the maturation phase) during which they attain their definitive dark brown colour (Chararas, 1962).

Environmental requirements: in native fir stands, P. curvidens usually colonises uprooted, split, otherwise damaged or very old trees, whereas in artificial stands, it can be favoured by strong attacks by defoliators (Schimitschek, 1936; Hesko, 1966), by a lack of culture management practices or by infections of roots by rot (e.g. Armillaria) due to either waterlogging or a prolonged dry spells. The latter is more frequent in the southern areas of the geographical range of Abies alba, i.e., along the Apennines in Italy. P. curvidens can also be favoured by branchwood from forest utilization when the diameter of branches is more than 15 cm.

P. curvidens prefers well exposed edge trees, more rarely colonizing shaded ones. Colonization of a new host plant starts from the tip and then reaches the base. Even very old trees with thick bark can be attacked.

P. curvidens is often associated with other scolytid species, i.e., Cryphalus piceae, Trypodendron lineatum, Pityophthorus pityographus, more rarely with the congeneric P. spinidens and P. vorontzovi (Chararas, 1962; Harring, 1978). On the same trees, we also usually find the weevil Pissodes piceae and the cerambycids
Rhagium inquisitor, Corymbia rubra and Anastrangalia dubia.

Other organisms, such as nematodes, have a phoresic interrelationship with P. curvidens, e.g., Bursaphelenchus abietinu, B. hofmanni, B. nuesslini (Nematoda: Aphelenchoididae) (they have no phytosanitary importance in their native areas), Fucsia sp. (Nematoda: Diplogasteridae), Parasitorhabditis sp. (Nematoda: Rhabditidae), Ditylenchus pityokteinophilus (Nematoda: Tylenchidae) (Braasch, 2001).

Many species of mites also have a phoresic interrelationship with P. curvidens, e.g., Histiostoma abietis (Histiostomidae), Pergamasus brevicornis (Parasitidae), Dendrolaelaps apophyseus, D. comatus, D. cornutus, D. quadrisetus, D. tenuipilus (Rhodocaridae), Ameroseius orbiculus, Typhlodromus richteri (Phytoseiidae), Proctolaelaps fiseri, P. pini (Ascidie), Trichouropoda oscura, T. ovalis, T. stammerisimilis, Uroobovella ipidis (Uropodidae), Pleuronectocelaeno austriaca, P. cuspidata (Celaenopsidae), Schwiebea eurynymphae (Acaridae), Camisia spinifer (Camisiidae), Carabodes labyrinthicus (Carabodidae) (Michalski and Ratajczak, 1989; Michalski et al., 1992).

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Coeloides bostrychorum Predator Larvae
Conostigmus pusillus Predator Larvae
Dendrosoter middendorffii Predator Larvae
Dromius agilis Predator Adults
Ecphylus hylesini Predator Larvae
Metacolus unifasciatus Predator Larvae
Metoponcus brevicornis Predator Larvae
Myrmica ruginodis Predator Adults/Larvae/Pupae
Nudobius lentus Predator Larvae
Paromalus flavicornis Predator Larvae
Paromalus parallelepipedus Predator Larvae
Perilitus rutilus Predator Larvae
Placusa atrata Predator Larvae
Placusa tachyporoides Predator Larvae
Plegaderus vulneratus Predator Larvae
Rhizophagus bipustulatus Predator Larvae
Rhizophagus depressus Predator Larvae
Rhizophagus dispar Predator Larvae
Rhizophagus nitidulus Predator Larvae
Rhopalicus tutela Predator Larvae/Pupae
Roptrocerus xylophagorum Predator Larvae
Thanasimus formicarius Predator Adults/Larvae/Pupae
Tillus unifasciatus Predator Adults/Larvae/Pupae

Notes on Natural Enemies

Top of page Many insects are known to prey on P. curvidens. Most of them prey on the larvae of P. curvidens, but others, such as T. formicarius, can also prey on adults.

There are a large number of parasitoid records from P. curvidens in the literature.

A microsporidian infection caused by the protozoan Nosema curvidentis Weiser was found in a natural population of P. curvidens in Slovakia (Weiser, 1961), associated with infection by the bacterium Serratia marcescens (Lysenko, 1959).

The natural mortality of P. curvidens is not sufficient to maintain the population levels under the attention threshold.

Means of Movement and Dispersal

Top of page P. curvidens can easily be transported and spread to new areas by commercial trade in infested trunks with bark attached.

Plant Trade

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Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transportPest stagesBorne internallyBorne externallyVisibility of pest or symptoms
Bark adults; larvae Yes Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches adults; eggs; larvae; pupae Yes Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye
Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Wood

Wood Packaging

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Wood Packaging liable to carry the pest in trade/transportTimber typeUsed as packing
Solid wood packing material with bark Yes
Solid wood packing material without bark Yes
Wood Packaging not known to carry the pest in trade/transport
Loose wood packing material
Non-wood
Processed or treated wood

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Animal/plant collections Negative
Animal/plant collections Negative
Animal/plant products None
Animal/plant products None
Biodiversity (generally) Positive
Biodiversity (generally) Positive
Crop production None
Crop production None
Environment (generally) Positive
Environment (generally) Positive
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Fisheries / aquaculture None
Forestry production Negative
Forestry production Negative
Human health None
Human health None
Livestock production None
Livestock production None
Native fauna None
Native fauna None
Native flora None
Native flora None
Rare/protected species Negative
Rare/protected species Negative
Tourism Negative
Tourism Negative
Trade/international relations None
Trade/international relations None
Transport/travel None
Transport/travel None

Impact

Top of page Colonization by P. curvidens is a chronic problem in the management of fir forests. Economic evaluations of the damage caused by this bark beetle are not yet available. However, there are many literature reports of economic losses in central Europe attributed to P. curvidens outbreaks (Viebig, 1948; Wellenstein, 1948; Kraemer, 1950; Maksymov, 1950; Hierholzer, 1954, Chararas, 1962; Martin and Cobos, 1986; Zabecki, 1988; Rosnev et al., 1989; Tsankov, 1989; Rieder, 1990; Kolk, 1992; Simionescu et al., 1998; Mihalciuc et al., 2001; Sarikaya and Avci, 2002). In mixed Abies alba / Fagus sylvatica stands, the decline or death of the former species can be harmful to the beech trees, as the sudden uncovering of the coenosis leads to sunburn (Kraemer, 1950).

Economic Impact

Top of page Colonization by P. curvidens is a chronic problem in the management of fir forests. Economic evaluations of the damage caused by this bark beetle are not yet available. However, there are many literature reports of economic losses in central Europe attributed to P. curvidens outbreaks (Viebig, 1948; Wellenstein, 1948; Kraemer, 1950; Maksymov, 1950; Hierholzer, 1954, Chararas, 1962; Martin and Cobos, 1986; Zabecki, 1988; Rosnev et al., 1989; Tsankov, 1989; Rieder, 1990; Kolk, 1992; Simionescu et al., 1998; Mihalciuc et al., 2001; Sarikaya and Avci, 2002). In mixed Abies alba / Fagus sylvatica stands, the decline or death of the former species can be harmful to the beech trees, as the sudden uncovering of the coenosis leads to sunburn (Kraemer, 1950).

Detection and Inspection

Top of page It is recommended that attacked plants be identified at the beginning of colonization by this scolytid beetle, when boring dust is observed coming out of the entrance holes being dug by males or when the canopy is starting to change colour. In this way, forest management practices can be planned ad hoc before the new adults emerge and fly.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

Top of page The three European species of Pityokteines all feed on Abies and often live in the same habitats. They can be separated according to the following key.

Key to the European species of Pityokteines

1) Frons slightly pubescent (with a few hairs). Elytral declivity with a pair of small but distinct sutural denticles; it bears a second pair of large, more or less hook-shaped denticles and a pair of conical denticles at apex. Strial punctures progressively increasing in diameter from basis to elytral declivity (males) Go to 2.

Frons and anterior pronotal margin with dense pubescence of very long, yellow-golden hairs. Elytral declivity with 3 pairs of small protuberances. Strial punctures progressively increasing in diameter from basis to elytral declivity (females) Go to 4.

2) Sutural denticles hook-shaped and directed posteriorly, with axis nearly horizontal. Quadrangular surface between the second and third pair of denticles. Strial punctures slightly increasing in diameter from basis to apex of elytrae; flat interstriae with punctures along their entire length, reaching the declivity. Body length 1.9-2.8 mm. P. spinidens male

Sutural denticles oblique or perpendicular to body axis. Transverse rectangular area between the second and third pair of denticles. Strial punctures progressively and strongly increasing in diameter toward apex; interstriae without punctures before the elytral declivity. Go to 3.

3) Sutural denticles oblique to body axis. Median hook isodiametric for its entire length, but apex is short, restricted, with a blunt tip. Body length 1.6-2.4 mm. P. vorontzovi male

Sutural denticles perpendicular to body axis, with the tip directed superiorly or bent anteriorly. Median hook progressively thinner from basis to apex. Body length 2.5-3.2 mm. P. curvidens male

4) Frons with a smooth median line without protuberance. Anterior pronotal margin with hairs clearly longer than those of the frons. Strial punctures slightly increasing in diameter from basis to apex. Large flat interstriae with punctures reaching the declivity. Quadrangular space between second and third pair of protuberances on elytral declivity. Body length 1.9-2.8 mm. P. spinidens female

Anterior margin of pronotum with hairs as long as or slightly longer than those of the frons. Space between second and third pair of protuberances on elytral declivity is a transverse rectangle. Go to 5.

5) Frons with long median keel. Body length 1.6-2.4 mm P. vorontzovi female

Frons with only a small median protuberance. Strial punctures strongly increasing in diameter toward the apex. Interstriae narrow, starting from the middle of elytrae, without punctures before the declivity. Body length 2.5-3.2 mm. P. curvidens female

There are also evident differences in the scheme of the reproductive galleries (see Pictures).

Prevention and Control

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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.

Culture control and sanitary methods.

P. curvidens is particularly harmful to artificial fir stands outside the optimal range of the conifer's ecological requirements. The most suitable forest management practice would be to mix Abies with broadleaved trees such as Fagus sylvatica, Acer pseudoplatanus, A. platanoides, Quercus cerris, Fraxinus excelsior, etc., giving Abies the deepest and most fertile soil.

In mature stands, trees attacked by the bark beetle, as well those uprooted, split, otherwise, should be cut and removed (Schneider-Orelli and Kuhn 1948; Schneider-Orelli and Maksymov, 1949). It may also be useful to de-bark the infested trunks before the larvae reach maturity and dig-out their pupal cells from the alburnum. The use of trap trees, perhaps baited with the aggregation pheromone, could be profitable, especially before the emergence and flight of the bark beetle adults.

No measures of biological control of P. curvidens are known.

Chemical control by synthetic pyrethroids should be allowed only on timber for commercial trade.

References

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