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   Dendroctonus valens (insect)
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    Details of this species in China
    Status: Alien
    Invasiveness: Invasive
    Occurrence: Established and expanding
    Source: Liu et al. 2006
    Arrival Date:
    Species Notes for this Location:
    Dendroctonus valens may have been introduced into China in the mid 1990s via wood packaging material (LUBIES 2004). However other sources suggest the beetle was introduced in the 1980 and remained harmless and undiscovered for 15 years (Yan et al. 2005). This exotic pest has spread rapidly since its first outbreak in 1999 from the Shanxi Province to three other adjacent provinces (Hebei, Henan, and Shaanxi) (Miao 2002, Liu 2003, in Liu et al. 2006).
    Management Notes for this Location:
    Efforts are underway to suppress the outbreak of D. valens in China by with biocontrol. Research is underway to pin-point the origin of this beetle infestation in order to find precise and effective biocontrol agents (Cognato et al. 2005). Knowledge of the origin of the introduction could provide important insight into the ecology and potential control of the D. valens (Kambhampati et al., 1991, Haymer et al., 1997, Scheffer & Grissell 2003, Cognato et al. 2005). Analysis by Cognato (2003) suggests that the likely origin of D. valens in China is the Pacific Northwest of North America.
    Understanding the basic biology and ecology of the red turpentine beetle is important for developing effective management strategies. To better understand the invasion biology of the beetle basic ecological and biological questions were addressed by Liu and colleagues who found that: The red turpentine beetle male adult cannot successfully bore into a pine without a preexisting tunnel that has been bored by a female; A red turpentine beetle female can successfully bore into the tree without the presence of a male; Nearly all red turpentine beetle females who made tunnels were joined by red turpentine beetle males; A red turpentine beetle male always joined a female’s tunnel about five hours after she had built it; Both red turpentine beetle male and female adults had similar rhythms for boring into the bark, namely, both preferred to bore in the early morning (0300-0800 hours) and evening (1600-2300 hours); and Red turpentine beetle males and females had different sensitivities to volatiles: the males were sensitive to dust from holes bored by single females, and the females were more sensitive to dust from holes bored by paired male and female adults. These authors suggest that beetle pheromones mediate tree colonisation and attack behaviour.
    At present in China the main method of bark beetle quarantine is to check the cargo by hand. It is hard to avoid oversight by only spot-checking the large amount of timber two to three times, when the container is full of cargo. The effect of quarantine is considerably limited by lack of advanced equipment and methods. New technology for quarantine is therefore needed (Yang 1993, in Liu & Dai 2006). It is imperative that future quarantine efforts are strengthened in order to prevent bark beetles, including the red turpentine beetle, from causing widespread damage in China (Liu & Dai 2006). In North America and Europe, much research has been done on bark beetle host orientation, interspecific olfactory communications, interspecific competition the effect of conifer oleoresin released during bark beetle attack, the effects of host volatiles on bark beetle’s reaction to pheromone and integrated management. There is no report of applying bark beetle semiochemicals for quarantine in China (Liu & Dai 2006). Using traps with two isomeric compounds of alpha-pinene, ethanol, trans-verbenol, verbenone, camphene and isononylaldehyde, Liu & Dai (2006) attracted and trapped insects of four families (Scolytidae, Platypodidae, Bostychidae and Cleridae), including eight genera of Scolytidae, (Xyleborus, Cryphalus, Polygraphs, Xyloterus, Ips, Dendroctonus, Orthotomicus and Scolytus). Research continues in China to develop new attractant formulations and practical quarantine techniques (Liu & Dai 2006).
    Location Notes:
    Economic/Livelihoods: The red turpentine beetle D. valens is one of the most economically destructive forest pests in China, having killed more than 6 million pines in recent years (Liu et al. 2008).
    The Pine is a major reforestation tree in China and P. tabulaeformis is widely planted across a large portion of the country. The potential for this exotic beetle to cause harm is overwhelming (Li et al. 2001, Sun et al. 2003, in Liu et al. 2006).

    Ecosystem change: D. valens causes considerable damage on Pinus tabulaeformis and occasionally on P. armandi. Damage has occurred mainly on pines in the Shanxi province but also recently in the neighbouring provinces of Henan, Hebei and Shaanxi. Because China suffers from considerable erosion problems the reforestation of previously forested lands and protection of existing forests is paramount. Billions of tons of agricultural and other soil are annually washed down the Yellow River. Pinus tabulaeformis and other pine species have been planted in programs designed to mitigate the harm caused by erosion since the 1990s. In this context, D. valens presents an enormous actual and potential threat to these reforested lands as well as to naturally forested lands in northern regions of China (LUBIES 2004).
    Last Modified: 16/02/2009 3:34:24 p.m.

ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland