Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Plasticity in life-history traits of the bark beetle Ips calligraphus as influenced by phloem thickness

  • 108 Accesses

  • 33 Citations


Reproduction and development of Ips calligraphus (Germar) (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) occur primarily in the phloem (inner bark) tissue of its pine hosts. In slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm. var. elliottii), phloem thickness can vary widely from tree to tree. We compared adult residence time and fecundity and progeny development time, body size, and sex ratio of this beetle when reared in slash pine bolts and bark slabs with phloem thicker or thinner than average adult body width. Most studies were conducted at 20°, 25°, and 30° C. Residence time of parent males and females decreased with increasing temperature but it was not affected by phloem thickness. Residence time of parent males was about 2 days shorter than that of parent females at each temperature. Reproductive fitness was greater in thick phloem at all temperatures as measured by faster larval development, earlier emergence of progeny (F 1 ) adults, and emergence of more progeny adults per parent female. Progeny survival was similar between phloem those from thick phloem, and their sex ratio was female biased (1:2 vs 1:1, male:female). When allowed to inhabit thick phloem, the progeny (F 2) of adults from thin phloem were just as large and of similar sex ratio (1:1) as were progeny of F 1 adults from thick phloem. The high degree of plasticity in the life-history traits of this beetle may enable it to successfully colonize pines that vary widely in phloem thickness.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Amman GD (1972) Some factors affecting oviposition behavior of the mountain pine beetle. Environ Entomol 1:691–695

  2. Amman GD, Cole WE (1983) Mountain pine beetle dynamics in lodgepole pine forest. Part II. Population dynamics. US Dep Agric For Serv Gen Tech Rep INT-145

  3. Andersen J, Nilssen AC (1983) Intrapopulation size variation of free-living and tree-boring Coleoptera. Can Entomol 115:1453–1464

  4. Bakke A (1968) Field and laboratory studies on sex ratio in Ips acuminatus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) in Norway. Can Entomol 100:640–648

  5. Borden JH, Slater CE (1969) Flight muscle volume change in Ips confusus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). Can J Zool 47:29–32

  6. Bradshaw AD (1965) Evolutionary significance of phenotypic plasticity in plants. Adv Genetics 13:115–155

  7. Burley N (1982) Facultative sex-ratio manipulation. Am Nat 120:81–107

  8. Charlesworth B (1980) Evolution in age-structured populations. Cambridge University Press

  9. Cook SP, Wagner TL, Flamm RO, Dickens JC, Coulson RN (1983) Examination of sex ratios and mating habits of Ips vulsus and I. calligraphus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). Ann Entomol Soc Am 76:56–60

  10. Coulson RN, Hennier PB, Flamm RO, Rykiel EJ, Hu LC, Payne TL (1983) The role of lightning in the epidemiology of the southern pine beetle. Z Ang Entomol 96:182–193

  11. Dale JW (1967) The influence of temperature on the population growth of three species of southern pine engravers. MS Thesis. Duke Univ Sch of Forestry, Durham, North Carolina

  12. Denno RF, McCloud ES (1985) Predicting fecundity from body size in the planthopper, Prokelisia marginata (Homoptera: Delphacidae). Environ Entomol 14:846–849

  13. Dixon WN, Corneil JA, Wilkinson RC, Foltz JL (1984) Using stem char to predict mortality and insect infestation of firedamaged slash pines. S.J. Appl For 8:85–88

  14. Dohrenwend RE (1978) The climate of Alachua County, Florida. Fla Agric Exp Stn Bull 796

  15. Fisher RA (1930) The genetical theory of natural selection. Clarendon, Oxford

  16. Foltz JL, Corneil JA, Reich RM (1985) Procedures for sampling six-spined Ips populations in slash pine. In: Branham SJ, Thatcher RC (eds) Integrated pest management research symposium: the proceedings. US Dep Agric For Serv Gen Tech Rep SO-56, pp 6–12

  17. Gouger RJ, Yearian WC, Wilkinson RC (1975) Feeding and reproductive behavior of Ips avulsus. Fla Entomol 58:221–229

  18. Grünwald M (1986) Ecological segregation of bark beetles (Coleoptera, Scolytidae) of spruce. Z Ang Entomol 101:176–187

  19. Haack RA (1985) Voltinism and diurnal emergence-flight patterns of Ips calligraphus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) in Florida. Fla Entomol 68:658–667

  20. Haack RA, Slansky F Jr (1987) Nutritional ecology of wood-feeding Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, and Hymenoptera. In: Slansky F, Rodriguez JG (eds) The nutritional ecology of insets, mites, and spiders. Wiley, New York, pp 449–489

  21. Haack RA, Wilkinson RC (1987) Phoresy by Dendrochernes pseudoscorpions on Cerambycidae (Coleoptera) and Aulacidae (Hymenoptera) in Florida. Am Midl Nat (in press)

  22. Haack RA, Foltz JL, Wilkinson RC (1984a) Longevity and fecundity of Ips calligraphus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) in relation to slash pine phloem thickness. Ann Entomol Soc Am 77:657–662

  23. Haack RA, Wilkinson RC, Foltz JL, Corneil JA (1984b) Gallery construction and oviposition by Ips calligraphus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) in relation to slash pine phloem thickness and temperature. Can Entomol 116:625–632

  24. Haack RA, Foltz JL, Wilkinson RC (1985) Effects of temperature and slash pine phloem thickness on Ips calligraphus life processes. In: Branham SJ, Thatcher RC (eds) Integrated pest management research symposium: the proceedings. US Dep Agric For Serv Gen Tech Rep SO-56, pp 102–113

  25. Haack RA, Wilkinson RC, Foltz JL, Corniel JA (1987) Spatial attack pattern, reproduction, and brood development of Ips calligraphus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) in relation to slash pine phloem thickness: a field study. Environ Entomol (in press)

  26. Haukioja E, Neuvonen S (1985) The relationship between size and reproductive potential in male and female Epirrita autumnata (Lep., Geometridae). Ecol Entomol 10:267–270

  27. Hodges JD, Elam WW, Watson WF, Nebeker TE (1979) Oleoresin characteristics and susceptibility of four southern pines to sourthern pine beetle (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) attacks. Can Entomol 111:889–896

  28. Hopping GR (1964) The breeding evidence indicating two genetic types of females of Ips tridens (Mannerheim) Coleoptera: Scolytidae. Can Entomol 96:117–118

  29. Howard ET (1971) Bark structure of the southern pines. Wood Sci 3:134–148

  30. Juliano SA (1985) The effects of body size on mating and reproduction in Brachinus lateralis (Coleoptera: Carabidae). Ecol Entomol 10:271–280

  31. Kirkendall LR (1983) The evolution of mating systems in bark and ambrosia beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytidae and Platypodidae). Zool J Linnean Soc 77:293–352

  32. Lack D (1954) The natural regulation of animal numbers. Oxford University Press, Oxford

  33. Lande R (1982) A quantitative genetic theory of life history evolution. Ecology 63:607–615

  34. Lanier GN, Oliver JH (1966) “Sex-ratio” condition: unusual mechanisms in bark beetles. Science 153:208–209

  35. Lanier GN, Wood DL (1968) Controlled mating, karyology, morphology, and sex-ratio in the Dendroctonus ponderosae complex. Ann Entomol Soc Am 61:518–526

  36. Lewontin RC (1965) Selection for colonizing ability. In: Baker HG, Stebbins GL (eds) The genetics of colonizing species. Academic Press, New York, pp 77–91

  37. Mattson WJ, Haack RA (1987) The role of drought in outbreaks of plant-eating insects. BioScience 37:110–118

  38. Paine TD, Birch MC, Svihra P (1981) Niche breadth and resource partitioning by four sympatric species of bark beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). Oecologia (Berlin) 48:1–6

  39. Raffa KF, Berryman AA (1983) The role of host plant resistance in the colonization behaviour and ecology of bark beetles (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). Ecol Monog 53:27–49

  40. Roff D (1981) On being the right size. Am Nat 118:405–422

  41. Slansky F Jr, Haack RA (1986) Flight behavior of Ips calligraphus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) reared in slash pine with thick versus thin inner bark (phloem). Entomol Exp Appl 40:197–207

  42. Starzyk JR, Witkowski Z (1986) Dependence of the sex ratio of cerambycid beetles (Col., Cerambycidae) on the size of their host trees. Z Ang Entomol 101:140–146

  43. Stearns SC (1976) Life-history tactics: a review of the ideas. Q Rev Biol 51:3–47

  44. Stearns SC (1982) The role of development in the evolution of life histories. In: Bonner JT (ed) Evolution and development, Dahlem Konferenzen. Springer Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 237–258

  45. Steel RGD, Torrie JH (1980) Principles and procedures of statistics. 2nd ed, McGraw-Hill, New York

  46. Via S, Lande R (1985) Genotype-environment interaction and the evolution of phenotypic plasticity. Evolution 39:505–522

  47. Wagner TL, Flamm RO, Coulson RN (1985) Strategies for cohabitation among the southern pine bark beetle species: comparisons of life-process biologies. In: Branham SJ and Thatcher RC (eds) Integrated pest management research symposium: the proceedings US Dep Agric For Serv Gen Tech Rep SO-56, pp 87–101

  48. Wagner TL, Fargo WS, Flamm RO, Coulson RN, Pulley PE (1987) Development and mortality of Ips calligraphus (Coleoptera: Scolytidae) at constant temperatures. Environ Entomol (in press)

  49. Wilkinson RC, Foltz JL (1982) Ips engraver beetles: identification, biology, and control. Georgia For Res Pap 35

  50. Wilkinson RC, Britt RW, Spence EA, Seiber SM (1978) Hurricanetornado damage, mortality, and insect infestations of slash pine. S J Appl For 2:132–140

  51. Wood SL (1982) The bark and ambrosia beetles of North and Central America (Coleoptera: Scolytidae), a taxonomic monograph. Great Basis Nat Mem 6:1–1359

  52. Yearian WC, Gouger RJ, Wilkinson RC (1972) Effects of the bluestain fungus, Ceratocystis ips, on development of Ips bark beetles in pine bolts. Ann Entomol Soc Am 65:481–487

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to R. A. Haack.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Haack, R.A., Wilkinson, R.C. & Foltz, J.L. Plasticity in life-history traits of the bark beetle Ips calligraphus as influenced by phloem thickness. Oecologia 72, 32–38 (1987). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00385041

Download citation

Key words

  • Scolytidae
  • Ips
  • Phloem
  • Plasticity