Skip to Main Content
Southern Pine Beetle Behavior and SemiochemistryAuthor(s): Brian T. Sullivan
Source: In: Coulson, R.N.; Klepzig, K.D. 2011. Southern Pine Beetle II. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-140. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 25-50.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Southern Research Station
PDF: View PDF (6.86 MB)
DescriptionThe southern pine beetle (SPB) feeds both as adults and larvae within the inner bark of pine trees, which invariably die as a result of colonization. Populations of the SPB erupt periodically and produce catastrophic losses of pines, while at other times the beetles persist almost undetectably in the environment. The southern pine beetle has evolved behaviors that maximize its survival and reproduction when local population densities are either high or low. When densities are high, the SPB utilizes pheromones to organize synchronous mass attacks capable of overwhelming the resin defenses of healthy, vigorous trees. They thereby render hosts available to colonization that would not be susceptible to attack by one or a few individuals. When densities are low, the SPB must find and utilize trees that have been previously rendered susceptible by either abiotic factors, particularly lightning strikes, or biotic stressing agents such as attacks by other bark beetle species. This chapter reviews existing knowledge of the behavior and chemical ecology (i.e., use of chemical signals including pheromones) of the SPB and addresses how these aspects of SPB biology may either facilitate or hinder efforts to manage this virulent forest pest.
"All color photographs in chapter by Erich G. Vallery, US Forest Service”
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationSullivan, Brian T. 2011. Southern Pine Beetle Behavior and Semiochemistry. In: Coulson, R.N.; Klepzig, K.D. 2011. Southern Pine Beetle II. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-140. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 25-50. "
Keywordsbark beetle, dispersal, host selection, pheromone, semiochemical
- Use of Chemicals for Prevention and Control of Southern Pine Beetle Infestations
- Natural History of the Southern Pine Beetle
- Parasitoids of the Southern Pine Beetle
XML: View XML