Tree Killers: Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle


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Name

  • Common English name: Brown Spruce Longhorn Beetle
  • Other names:
  • Latin (scientific) name: Tetropium fuscum

Threat type

150x150 insects

History in Canada

  • introduced from Eurasia probably in solid wood packing or crating material
  • first found in the Halifax area of Nova Scotia in 1998
  • has spread slowly to the surrounding area
  • not known elsewhere in North America

Biology

  • adults are 10-15 mm long (1/2 in) with a dark head and thorax, and a brown abdomen
  • larvae are whitish and 25 mm long (1 in) when mature
  • the beetle has a one-year life cycle, overwintering as a mature larva
  • in Eurasia, the beetle attacks Pine, Spruce, Fir, and Larch
  • only Spruce (especially Red Spruce) has been attacked in North America
  • larvae feed on inner bark, especially in the lower part of the trunk
  • infected trees show excessive resin running down the trunk from many wounds
  • leaves (needles) turn yellow then brown

Impact on Trees

  • large or mature spruce are preferred over younger trees
  • heavily-infested trees die over several years

What can be done to control this tree killer?

  • movement of spruce wood products is carefully controlled in the Halifax area to contain the spread of the beetle
  • plans are underway to destroy all spruce trees in the affected Halifax area
  • there are some native parasites and predators that appear to attack the beetle

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