Pine shoot beetle

Tomicus piniperda

These beetles pose a dual menace to our forestry industry. They can kill the growing branches of pine trees. And they could also spread unwanted tree diseases to New Zealand.

About the pine shoot beetle

The female pine shoot beetles create 'galleries' (tunnels) inside pine tree trunks to lay their eggs. The males remove the sawdust and waste created (also known as frass).

The pine shoot beetle is native to Europe, North Africa, and Asia. This beetle feeds on pine and some other conifer species.

Global distribution of the beetle

map of the world showing the native and invaded range of the pine shoot beetle.


Why they're a problem for New Zealand

The adult pine shoot beetle eats growing shoots on pine trees, which can kill the shoot and branch.

If this beetle came into the country, it could bring other unwanted diseases with it, like pitch pine canker.

Map of New Zealand showing where the pine shoot beetle could establish

How could it get here?

At any life stage, from egg to adult, the pine shoot beetle might be hiding in wood or wooden packaging material.

How to identify the pine shoot beetle

You will most likely see the damage from this beetle first, in wood packaging or on a pine shoot.

Hole caused by pine shoot beetle. Image: CC 3.0 Gyorgy Csoka, Hungary Forest Research Institute,

If you find the holes, look for beetles that are:

  • brown to black
  • 3.5mm to 4.8mm long.

If you think you've found the pine shoot beetle


Note: This information is a summary of the beetle's global distribution and potential impacts on New Zealand.

Last reviewed: