Naked red trunks, looking up, dry branches without a hint of needles… Such a picture can sometimes be observed in pine forests or spruce forests. It seems that someone deliberately poisoned and destroyed the forest. In fact, the pest is to blame - the typographer beetle. Photos show that this is a small insect up to 5-5.5 cm in size, black or dark brown in color. The body and legs are covered with small hairs.
The typographer beetle got its name from the scientific descriptions of Carl Linnaeus. He noticed that the pattern left by the bark beetle, when cut, resembled a skillfully applied decorative ornament, as if it had been printed by a printing machine.
The bark beetle-typographer is common on almost the entire continent of Eurasia, where the zone of temperate and subtropical climate is located. It has already been brought to North America. In a word, he can be found wherever there are coniferous trees, especially he loves spruce and pine.
The typographer beetle activates as soon as the sun warms up, in April. He is very picky, prefers mature trees with thick bark, will settle on young growth only if allthe places will already be occupied, the lack of food may force him to master a freshly sawn stump, but he will not eat dry or rotten wood for any gingerbread. What a foodie.
The typographer beetle begins its activity with the fact that the male, after wintering, is looking for a suitable tree to feed his offspring. Having picked up a place, he begins to equip it. He does it this way. It gnaws a small hole in the trunk, where it invites several females. They find each other, emitting specific smells that indicate their readiness to acquire offspring. Having fertilized and provided housing, the male becomes unnecessary. The females do the rest. They make passages and chambers where they lay their eggs.
Interestingly, the adult typographer beetle does not feed on wood. Making moves in the tree trunk, he is forced to get rid of the sawdust resulting from the production process, each time pushing them to the beginning of the entrance to throw it away. Having completed their hard work and laid their eggs, males and females go to look for other places. Over the summer, they manage to make three or four masonry.
Themselves do not live in the trunk of trees, they do not need a lot of food, they can fly, so they are content with young coniferous shoots. But the larvae are the most important pests. They go from egg to beetle in two months.
The bark beetle leaves the pupa still soft, then molts several times and turns into an adult. Its life expectancy by the standards of insectsquite long. So, a young beetle leaves for wintering, which will live until next autumn. They hibernate in the forest litter and can withstand temperatures down to 30 degrees below zero. It happens that larvae and pupae leave before winter, but in severe cold they die.
The typographer beetle is a serious threat to coniferous forests. There are no chemicals that can affect its numbers. Work is underway to increase the population of natural enemies of bark beetles, which could reduce their population.