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IntroductionIps typographus (Linnaeus,1758) or as it is commonly known, the 8-toothed spruce bark beetle, is one of the most commonly encountered of the bark beetles (family Scolytidae). It is also potentially one of the most destructive, reaching pest proportions when outbreaks occur.It prefers to attack trees already suffering damage from adverse weather conditions, though it can attack living and healthy trees if populations reach pest proportions.It mainly lives in the bark of the Christmas tree, Norway spruce (Picea abies) but will attack other pines and larches.The chambers created by the larvae of this beetle can be seen in the thin bark and the surface of the wood, which is a behavioural characteristic unique to this species.Like most bark beetles it is small, 4.2mm–5.5mm and bears a series of 4 ‘teeth’ along the base of each elytra (wing case) from which it gets its name.
This species is found throughout Europe and northern Asia. Although outbreaks have occurred in the UK, this species is not currently recorded here, but is regularly intercepted at ports.