The pine shoot beetle, Tomicus piniperda (L.), is an exotic pest that has become established in North America. Discovered in Ohio in 1992, it has since been found in at least 13 states and parts of Canada. The beetle can cause significant growth loss in pines, and it represents a potential threat to trees in areas where it has not yet become established. To evaluate this threat to native pines, field and laboratory tests were conducted on several common and important southern and western species to determine whether they are acceptable hosts for T. piniperda. Comparisons with Pinus sylvestris L., Scots pine, a preferred natural host for the beetle, were made where possible. Measurements of beetle attack success on southern pine billets showed that Pinus taeda L., Pinus echinata Miller, Pinus elliottii var. elliottii Engelmann, Pinus palustris Miller, and Pinus virginiana Miller (loblolly, shortleaf, slash, longleaf, and Virginia pine, respectively) and two western pines, Pinus ponderosa Lawson and Pinus contorta Douglas (ponderosa and lodgepole pine, respectively), were acceptable for breeding material, but brood production was highly variable. Among the southern pines, P. taeda and P. echinata were susceptible to shoot feeding by T. piniperda, whereas P. elliottii was highly resistant and P. palustris seemed to be virtually immune. Shoot feeding tests on the western pines were conducted only in the laboratory, but there was moderate-to-good survival of adults feeding on both species. It seems that if T. piniperda is introduced into the south and west it will likely establish and may cause some damage to native pines. P. taeda may be affected more than other southern pines because it is the most abundant species, it is readily attacked for brood production, which can result in moderately large broods, and the beetle survives well during maturation feeding on P. taeda shoots.
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Vol. 97 • No. 2