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   Orthotomicus erosus (insect)
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      Orthotomicus erosus galleries (Photo: William M. Ciesla, Forest Health Management International, - Click for full size   Orthotomicus erosus galleries (Photo: William M. Ciesla, Forest Health Management International, - Click for full size
    Taxonomic name: Orthotomicus erosus (Wollaston)
    Common names: European bark beetle, Mediterranean pine engraver beetle
    Organism type: insect
    Orthotomicus erosus is an engraver beetle of the family Scolytidae. It is being introduced around the world, often due to the wood packaging material used in the shipment of textiles and other products. Orthotomicus erosus is a carrier for pathogenic fungi and is known to carry Sphaeropsis sapinea, which causes extensive mortality of many Pinus spp.
    Cavey et al. (2004) reports that the length of Orthotomicus erosus is generally between 2.7 and 3.5mm. It is reddish brown in colour. The anterior portion of the pronotum (the region of an insects body immediately behind the head) on this species is asperate (rough with points or projections). The elytral declivity (downward slope of the modified forewings of beetles serving as protective coverings for the hindwings) is also moderately concave with lateral spines or teeth on it. Please see Cavey et al. 1994 for aid in identification.
    Similar Species
    Ips latidens, Ips pini, Orthotomicus caelatus

    Occurs in:
    natural forests, planted forests
    Habitat description
    Campbell (2004) states that, "O. erosus primarily attack pine species (Pinus) but can also occur on Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), spruce (Picea), fir (Abies), and cedar species (Cedrus). The beetle infests recently fallen trees, slash, and stressed living trees."
    General impacts
    Campbell (2004) states that, "As with other bark beetles, one of the major dangers from O. erosus is the transmission of pathogenic fungi, including blue stain fungi such as Ophiostoma minus." Wylie (2000) states that, "The fungus Sphaeropsis sapinea has caused extensive mortality of Pinus spp. following hail damage in South Africa, and Zwolinski et al. (1990) have estimated that losses of US$ 3.2 million per year have been incurred. Damage due to Sphaeropsis dieback is often exacerbated through infestation of trees by the weevil Pissodes nemorensis and Orthotomicus erosus."
    Geographical range
    Native range: Asia and Europe (Campbell, 2004).
    Known introduced range: North Africa, North America, South America, and the South Pacific (Haack, 2001; Campbell, 2004; Ramsden et al. 2002).
    Introduction pathways to new locations
    Solid wood packing material: Orthotomicus erosus hast most commonly entered the United States from other countries through various crated exports such as, crating tiles, marble, and granite (Haack, 2001).
    Management information
    Integrated management: Henin and Paiva (2004) state that, "Management of bark beetle populations, such as O. erosus can only be achieved by adopting an integrated approach. Among preventive measures, this approach must combine ''prophylactic'' silviculture practices with an enhancement of their natural enemies, some of which have been shown to exert a significant impact upon bark beetle populations."

    Chemical: In field experiments, Klimetzek and Vite (1986) were able to lure O. erosus into traps baited with a combination of the beetle produced compounds 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol and ipsdienol. The authors state that, "When offered along with 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol, an up to 1000-fold increase in concentration of racemic ipsdienol led to a continual increase in catch of O. erosus and Ips sexdentatus, accompanied by a steady increase of .female..female.-%. It is assumed that 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol influences landing behaviour of O. erosus, while ipsdienol acts as a long distance signal".

    Mechanical: In South Africa, Wylie (2000) reports that, "Sanitation felling and removal of Rhizina-infected older trees is necessary to prevent build-up of O. erosus.

    Biologcial: Tribe and Kfir (2001) have been studying Dendrosoter caenopachoides, which was introduced into South Africa for the biological control of O. erosus.

    Campbell (2004) states that, "While beetles inhabit non Pinus species, beetle reproduction is limited to infestations in pine species."
    Reviewed by: Prof. Dr. Maria Rosa Paiva DCEA, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia Universidade Nova de Lisboa Portugal
    Principal sources: Campbell (2004) states that, "While beetles inhabit non Pinus species, beetle reproduction is limited to infestations in pine species."
    Compiled by: National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) & IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)
    Last Modified: Monday, 29 August 2005

ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland