Five Spined Bark Beetle

Classification
Species category: Beetles & Weevils
Scientific name: Ips Grandicollis

Description
Dark reddish brown in colour, it can appear almost black, this is a small beetle measuring approximately 3-5mm in length. Its cylindrical body can be covered with lots of tiny hairs or scales at the rear and have a glossy outer shell.

Native to the Americas, it is now very active in Queensland’s pine growing regions in Australia.

Stressed pine trees are a particular favourite habitat but this beetle will also enjoy living in tree stumps, rotting trees or recently felled timber.

Behaviour
Adults are often prevalent in stressed or damaged pine trees but they mainly attack the stumps or roots of dead trees and can severely affect the value and aesthetic qualities of milled timber.

The males bore into the tree and emit a powerful pheromone which attracts other beetles to the site. At this point, the male will take 3-5 female partners and impregnate them. The females bore further into the tree and lay eggs.

In the case of stressed pines, their defences are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of invading beetles and they die.
The Five Spined Bark Beetle also carries spores of blue stain fungi which it transmits to the tree and makes their presence easier to detect.

Risks
This beetle often attacks already weakened trees and as a result can kill a large number in a relatively small area.

The blue stain fungi can ruin the aesthetics of milled timber, severely affecting its value and usability.

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