Twig Beetles – Pityophtorus spp. – Pityogenes spp.

Twig Beetles (Pityophtorus spp. Pityogenes spp.)

Latin Name: Pityophtorus spp. /Pityogenes spp.

Common Name: Twig Beetles


  • Twig beetles belonging to the family Pityogenes have posterior spines, and those in the species Pityophthorus have a smooth posterior.
  • Twig beetles are a broad group of small bark beetles that belong to multiple genera.
  • Adult beetles range in color from light brown to practically black and are less than a tenth of an inch long.
  • The tree’s entrances are marked by tiny holes; little heaps of orange-colored boring dust, and pitch tubes. Some twig beetle species can kill trees by destroying the bole and significant branches.

Host plants: Pines and other conifers.

Territory: throughout in United States, especially in North America

Damage caused by Twig Beetles:

Twig beetles usually are harmless to healthy trees, but they can damage the tops of drought-stressed or diseased trees, resulting in tree death. Twig beetle populations can grow in a slash from spacing and pruning, then migrate into and destroy tiny trees. In Colorado, the twig beetle, P. knechteli, has caused significant mortality in young lodgepole pines due to mountain pine beetle epidemics.

Description about Leaf chewers:

Plants that insects have chewed might suffer from various problems. When certain insects completely consume foliage or flowers, they may vanish. Occasionally, the plant will seem ragged, with chewed edges or cores visible upon closer scrutiny. Plants can be cut at the root, causing them to collapse over, or twigs can be girdled, causing them to die. The process of inflicting harm to a plant by chewing is known as mining or boring. Sometimes just the upper or bottom surfaces of a plant are damaged, resulting in a brown, charred appearance or skeletonization (openings between the veins).

Life history and Habits:

Twig beetles may start creating habitat for systemic mountain pine beetle populations by attacking the top portions of small-diameter inhibited or diseased trees. The mountain pine beetle can now attack the tree trunk’s basal foot or two. Twig beetles are dark brown and around 3 mm long as adults. The majority of species have rounded backs. However, a few have small spines. The larvae are white C-shaped grubs with light brown head capsules that feed beneath the bark. Most species have two to four generations every year, depending on the climate.