Dendroctonus ponderosae, commonly known as the mountain pine beetle, is a species of bark beetle native to western North America. It is approximately 3-4 mm in length, cylindrical in shape, and black in color. It has a two-year life cycle, with larvae overwintering in the bark of pine trees and adults emerging in the summer. Its preferred habitat is lodgepole, ponderosa, and whitebark pine trees, and it is currently found in British Columbia, Alberta, and parts of the United States. The mountain pine beetle has caused extensive damage to forests in the western United States and Canada, with an estimated loss of over 18 million hectares of forest since 2000.
Name Origin: The scientific name of the organism, Dendroctonus ponderosae, is derived from the Greek words dendron, meaning tree, and kteinein, meaning to kill or destroy. This is in reference to the organism's destructive nature, as it is a species of bark beetle that is known to cause extensive damage to pine trees.
Related Species: Dendroctonus brevicomis, Dendroctonus frontalis, Dendroctonus rufipennis, Ips pini, Ips grandicollis