Tomicus destruens

Tomicus destruens (Wollaston).

Taxonomic position: Insecta, Holometabola, Coleoptera, Curculionidae.

Common name: Pine shoot beetle.

Geographic distribution: Mediterranean basin, Atlantic regions of North Africa.

Host plants: Several pine (Pinus) species.

Morphology: Body of adults is 3-5 mm long, with a bluish thorax and brown abdomen, covered by longitudinal punctated striations. The last antennal segments are club-like. The larvae are apodous, bluish-grey, with a brown head, about 5 mm in length.

Life history: Young adults are attracted by pinenes to shoots of healthy, well irrigated pines for maturation feeding. Then they seek the branches and trunks of weakened trees, gnaw individual vertical galleries within the inner bark and outer sapwood and they lay their eggs. The larvae feed and develop therein and pupate at the end of the galleries. Usually there is a single annual generation, oviposition occurring in autumn and the young overwinter in their feeding galleries. The beetles can disperse by flight.

Economic importance: Mass infestations by this beetle may cause the death of even vigorous trees, and/or increase their susceptibility to later pest attacks and/or depress growth. The pest’s association with blue stain fungi, like Leptographium and others can add to the damage. Water-stressed trees usually suffer more.


Monitoring: Adult flight can be followed with traps baited a pinene. The extent of infestations may be estimated by examining colonized wood and looking for boring and the expression of resin. The presence of dead shoots with reddish dust and yellow to reddish-brown foliage also indicate beetle presence.

Physical control: Sanitation, removal and destruction of any potential sources of infestation.

Chemical control: Logs treated with the repellent benzyl alcohol had significantly fewer galleries than the untreated controls.

Biological control: Several braconid and pteromalids parasitoids attack T. destruens in Israel, and several predatory Tenebrionidae (especially Corticeus fraxini (Kugelann)) attack it in Turkey, but their controlling effect is not known.


Branco, M., Pereira, J.S., Mateus, E., Tavares, C. and Paiva, M.R. 2010. Water stress affects Tomicus destruens host pine preference and performance during the shoot feeding phase. Annals of Forest Science 67: 608p1-608p7.

Dori-Bachash, M., Avrahami-Moyal, L., Protasov, A., Mendel, Z. and Freeman, S. 2015. The occurrence and pathogenicity of Geosmithia spp. and common blue-stain fungi associated with pine bark beetles in planted forests in Israel. European Journal of Plant Pathology 143: 627-639.

Faccoli, M., Anfora, G. and Tasin, M. 2011. Stone pine volatiles and host selection by Tomicus destruens (Wollaston) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytidae). Silva Lusitana 19: 61-73.

Guerrero, A., Feixas, J., Pajares, J., Wadhams, L.J., Pickett, J.A. and Woodcock, C.M. 199. Semiochemically induced inhibition of behaviour of Tomicus destruens (Woll.) (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). Naturwissenschaften 84: 155-157.

Mendel, Z. and Halperin, J. 1982. Parasites of bark beetles (Col.: Scolytidae) on pine and cypress in Israel. Entomophaga 26: 375-379

Mendel, Z., Madar, Z. and Golan, Y. 1985. Comparison of the seasonal occurrence and behavior of seven pine bark beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) in Israel. Phytoparasitica 13: 21-32.

Nanni, C. and Tiberi, R. 1997. Tomicus destruens (Wollaston): biology and behaviour in Central Italy. In: Grégoire, J.C., Liebhold, A.M., Stephen, F.M., Day, K.R. and Salom, S.M. (editors). 1997. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report NE-236: 131-134.

Peverieri, G. S., Capretti, P. and Tiberi, R. 2006. Associations between Tomicus destruens and Leptographium spp. in Pinus pinea and P. pinaster stands in Tuscany, central Italy. Forest Pathology 36: 14-20.

Peverieri, G. S., Faggi, M., Marzialli, L. and Tiberi, R. 2008. Life cycle of Tomicus destruens in a pine forest of central Italy. Bulletin of Insectology 61: 337-342.

Sarıkaya, O. and Avcı, M. 2009. Predators of Scolytinae (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) species of the coniferous forests in the Western Mediterranean Region, Turkey. Türkiye Entomoloji Dergisi 33: 253-264.