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Ips typographus (eight-toothed spruce bark beetle)

The eight-toothed spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) is widespread across Europe. The pest is not present in Ireland (confirmed by surveys every year), and has never been found in a forest here. In December 2018 it was found for the first time in the wider environment in Kent in England.

The pathway of significant introduction potential of Ips typographus is through the importation of untreated wood with bark from areas where the pest is known to occur. DAFM implements import provisions and inspections relating to timber, wood packaging material (pallets, crates etc), forest plants, Christmas trees and other forest products, and conducts surveys of the national forest estate for quarantine forest pests and diseases including Ips typographus.

Ips typographus is mainly a secondary pest attacking weak or damaged trees. However, populations can grow within areas of felled or windblown trees. These populations can then attack healthy trees en masse, causing widespread damage. The needles of attacked trees turn reddish-brown, and drop off within a short number of weeks.

Look out for single, or groups of dead host trees, with exit holes in the bark often accompanied with frass. Under the bark will be the presence of a larval gallery system, often accompanied by blue-stain fungi that is transferred to the tree by the beetle.

The beetle is approximately 4-5 mm long, and is dark brown. On each side of its posterior portion are four spines, the third of which is the longest and is enlarged at the tip. 

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