Mountain Pine Beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae)
The mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins, is considered one of the most economically important insect species in coniferous forests of western North America. Adult beetles are capable of successfully reproducing in at least 12 North American species of Pinus (Pineacea) from southern British Columbia to northern Baja Mexico. Mountain pine beetle adults attack live trees, and typically must kill the host for successful reproduction. Population outbreaks are most common in a few selected host species, such as lodgepole pine (P. contorta), ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa), western white pine (P. monticola), whitebark pine (P. albicaulis), and sugar pine (P. lambertiana), which often grow in relatively homogeneous groups over large acreages. Mountain pine beetles typically attack older lodgepole and whitebark pine (e.g., greater than 80 years), while younger ponderosa, western white, and sugar pine can also be attacked. Trees that are stressed by factors such as overcrowding,...
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