By measuring and analyzing larval head capsule widths, we determined that a northern California population of the walnut twig beetle, Pityophthorus juglandis Blackman (Coleoptera: Scolytidae), has three larval instars. We also developed rules to classify P. juglandis larval instars. Overlap in the ranges of widths among consecutive instars was addressed by fitting a distribution model to the data and determining limits for head capsule width classes and probabilities of instar misclassification. Growth ratios for laboratory and field samples of P. juglandis were consistent with the Brooks-Dyar rule and with results in the literature for other bark and ambrosia beetle species. As a consequence of branch dissection to retrieve larvae of P. juglandis, we established that northern California black walnut, Juglans hindsii (Jeps.) Jeps. ex R.E. Sm., is a host for the xylophagous “California hardwood bark beetle,” Hylocurus hirtellus (LeConte) (Coleoptera: Scolytidae), and that H. hirtellus is associated with P. juglandis beneath the bark of small diameter branches. It appears that in northern California, univoltine H. hirtellus is active in flight from early March through early May, with the majority of the adults dispersing in April. The females are the colonizing sex.
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