Dendroctonus mesoamericanus: a new species of bark beetle
A new species of bark beetle, Dendroctonus mesoamericanus sp. nov. (Curculionidae: Scolytinae – Mesoamerican pine beetle) has recently been described from the state of Chiapas in Mexico. This new species belongs to the D. frontalis complex which includes the following 6 species: D. adjunctus (EPPO A1 List), D. approximatus, D. brevicomis (EPPO A1 List), D. frontalis (EPPO A1 List), D. mexicanus and D. vitei. Identifications based on morphological characteristics and DNA sequencing of 289 adult specimens collected from Southern Mexico and Central America indicated that D. mesoamericanus occurs in the following countries: Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico (states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Michoacán). Within this geographical range, the distribution of D. mesoamericanus appears to be entirely sympatric with D. frontalis. D. mesoamericus has been observed at elevations ranging from 311 m to 2600 m on several pine species such as: Pinus caribaea, P. devoniana, P. hartwegii, P. maximinoi, P. montezumae, P. oocarpa, P. pringlei and P. pseudostrobus. In general, D. mesoamericanus was found infesting pine trees together with D. frontalis. It was observed that D. mesoamericanus primarily colonizes the bottom 1-3 metres of the trunk whereas D. frontalis is concentrated in the middle-upper part of the trunk. More studies are needed to evaluate the aggressiveness of D. mesoamericanus and its potential capacity to kill pine trees.
Armendáriz-Toledano F, Niño A, Sullivan BT, Kirkendall LR, Zúñiga G (2015) A new species of bark beetle, Dendroctonus mesoamericanus sp. nov. (Curculionidae: Scolytinae), in Southern Mexico and Central America. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 108(3), 403-414.