|scientific name Scolytus piceae |
common name Spruce engraver.
Adults will generally be found on host tree limbs. Larvae, on the other hand, will be found solely in the wood of trees. Host trees targeted are mostly spruce (Picea spp.), and to a lesser degree, firs (Abies spp.) and larches (Larix spp.).
Adults have been collected in Alberta from May to August.
Adults may be 2.4 to 3.3 mm long and are shiny black in colour. The frons is flattened and depressed in between the eyes (Bright 1976). The second sternite is not concaved and rises vertically to meet the elytra. In both males and females, there is a median spine arising in the center of the 2nd abdominal sternite (i.e. base of spine does not touch the anterior or posterior margin of 2nd sternite) (Bright 1976).
Females lay 10 to 30 eggs in each parental gallery and the hatched larvae will create feeding galleries that extend from the parental gallery. Upon completion of larval development within the wood of the host tree, S. piceae will overwinter as pupae underneath the bark. Only one generation of this beetle species is produced each year in Canada (Bright 1976).
Adult beetles generally attack dead or dying branches of spruce trees (Picea sp.) but are also known to attack firs (Abies sp.) and to a lesser degree, larches (Larix sp.) (Bright 1976). Larvae will feed on woody tissues in trees.
This beetle may be found throughout Canada and may be found in the eastern and western parts of the USA (Bright 1976).
Based on the identification key by LaBonte et. al. (2003), S. piceae may be accidentally keyed out as S. schevyrewi. However, one easy way to differentiate the two is the even (shiny) black colouration of S. piceae elytra compared to S. schevyrewi, which has a distinctive banded pattern on its elytra (see species page for S. schevyrewi).
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