Dendroctonus ponderosae    

common name     Mountain Pine Beetle

Windfall and weak or overmature trees with a DBH of more than 15 cm.

Flight period begins in mid July and lasts until late August. This may vary with local climates.

There is no frontal groove on the frons. The pronotum has coarse, closely spaced punctures that may have granules. The elytral declivity is dull and may have small granules. It may look similar to D. jeffreyi Hopkins, but pronotal features and smaller size distinguish it. It may also look similar to D. adjunctus Blandford.

life history
Beetles and larvae will become active in the spring as the weather begins to warm. Mature females will extend galleries and may or may not continue to oviposit. Some females will reemerge. Females that emerge will find bark crevices and excavate to the cambium. Egg galleries are vertical and straight and found within the phloem region, which may score or stain the cambium. The male will then join the female and mate, after mating the male may leave the gallery. Eggs are laid in egg niches, two eggs may be laid in one niche. There is a 7 to 10 day period before hatching followed by approximately a 300 day larval period. By June of the year after the eggs were laid most larvae have pupated, and most are mature by mid July. After the one month maturation period the newly mature adults will emerge weather conditions are appropriate. During outbreaks it will attack any acceptable hosts of any conifer species.

This species is a major forest pest throughout its range.

diet info
In Alberta, this species feeds on Pinus albicaulis (White-bark Pine), P. contorta (lodgepole pine), P. flexilis (limber pine) and P. monticola (western white pine). It feeds on many other Pinus species in the rest of its range.

This beetle is found in conifer forests throughout its range. In Canada it is found in British Columbia and Alberta. In the USA it is found in all US states west of South Dakota. It is also found along the Pacific coast as far south as Baja California, Mexico.

species page authorJensen, D.2003 
species page editorShpeley, D.2004 

quick link


Logo Department of Museums and Collections ServicesLogo University of Alberta