Introduced Pests Outreach Project

Pine Shoot Beetle

(Click on an image below to see the captioned full-size version)
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Scientific Name: Tomicus piniperda
Common Name: Pine Shoot Beetle, Common Pine Shoot Beetle

Known Hosts:
Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) is the preferred host but pine shoot beetle will attack other Pinus spp. including red pine (Pinus resinosa), Jack pine (Pinus banksiana), Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), and Austrian pine (Pinus nigra). When the population levels are high, adults may breed in logs of fir (Abies spp.), spruce (Picea spp.), and larch (Larix spp.).

Key ID Features (Adults, Larvae, Eggs):

Adult beetles are brown to shiny black (turns darker as it matures) about ¼ inch (3-5mm) in length and cylindrical shape. (Fig. 1)

Adults emerge from overwintering under the bark when temperatures reach 54F in March or April at which point they search for suitable brood sites

Mated females tunnel between the inner bark and cambium creating galleries 4-10 inches (10-25cm) long for their eggs. Females lay eggs in niches on both sides of the egg gallery.

Larvae hatch in late April to June and feed in galleries 1.5-3.5 inches (4-9cm) long radiating away from the egg laying gallery. (Figure 2)

Larvae are legless, up to 5mm in length, and have a white body with a brown head.

Mature larvae pupate and emerge as adults between July and October

New adults will feed on the youngest shoots (new or 1 year old shoots) to reach maturation. Adults enter the shoot 6 inches (15cm) or less from the shoot tip and then bore for 1-4 inches (2.5–10cm) inside the shoot towards the tip. Each adult will feed on between 1 and 6 shoots. This is the most destructive stage of the life cycle and stunts the growth of the trees. (Figure 3)

Description of damage:
Damaged shoots flag (droop), turn yellow, and eventually turn brown & fall off the tree (Figure 4 and 5)
Damaged shoots will have a round entrance hole (2-3 mm in diameter) surrounded by pitch (Figure 6)

Fact sheets and references:
USDA, APHIS Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey: Information on Pine Shoot Beetle surveys, links to the latest news and regulations about this insect

Pine Shoot Beetle: USDA, APHIS Pest Detection and Management Program: Up-to-date maps of regulated areas and other information on the beetle

Tomicus piniperda Common Pine Shoot Beetle: Canadian Food Inspection Agency

USDA Forest Service Pest Alert: New Introduction- Common Pine Shoot Beetle

Pine Shoot Beetle factsheet: University of Florida, The Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences

Pine Shoot Beetle Compliance Management Program: Michigan Department of Agriculture,1607,7-125-1568_2390_5974-11726--,00.html

Map of Quarantine Area, United States and Canada: USDA APHIS PPQ

last reviewed December 22, 2014

Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources
The Massachusetts Introduced Pests Outreach Project is maintained by staff at the Massachusetts Dept. of Agricultural Resources. This website was made possible, in part, by a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS). It may not necessarily express APHIS' views.