Bark and Ambrosia Beetles of the Southeastern U.S.: Overview  (Checklist)

There has never been a treatment specifically dealing with this group for the entire southeastern United States. Wood's monograph (1982) on the Scolytidae of North and Central included the region, but there have been numerous changes since then, including introduction and spread of exotic species, publication of new distribution and host information, description of new species, and name changes. On a personal note, I have been working on this project off and on since the mid 1970's when I first became interested in the group as a graduate student at the University of Florida.


This is a work in progress. The information posted here is preliminary and should not be cited without consulting me. It is still being updated periodically and subject to change at any moment. For exotic species, the emphasis to date has been on distribution in the New World and the total distribution may be wider than shown here.


Originally this project started as a treatment of the state of Florida. For biogeographical reasons the adjacent state of Georgia was added to give a transect from the southern Appalachians to the tropical Florida Keys. This area includes a vast diversity of plant species and vegetation types, ranging from temperate coniferous and deciduous forests to tropical forests and mangroves in southern Florida. This area actually includes 95% of the species known from all of the southeastern states so the scope of the project was expanded.

This area actually includes 95% of the species known from all of the southeastern states so the scope of the project was expanded to include all species found from North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas southwards. It includes the eastern part of Texas and Oklahoma, roughly corresponding to the area east of Interstate 35 to Dallas then east of Interstate 45 from Dallas to the coast (inside red lines).

map of SE US

map showing area of Southeastern United States covered by project

A total of 217 species are included, 213 in the subfamily Scolytinae and 4 in the subfamily Platypodinae. Of these 43 of have been introduced from Europe, Asia, Africa and tropical America. This total also includes several species (native or exotic) which are known from neighboring areas but have not actually been collected within the study area.

Access to Species Information

Information on individual species can be accesed through 3 routes:

  • For those familiar with the higher classification of the group, the condensed taxonomic list allows a quick lookup. Clicking on names of tribes, subtribes, and genera will expand (or close) sublists down to the species level.
  • For those with some familiarity with the classification, but need a little help, there is a checklist of the species of the Southeastern U.S. showing all 217 species that the user can scroll through.
  • It may be easier in some cases just to look up a species in the alphabetical Index. The index includes all currently accepted names as well as all synonyms of which I am aware. This means that even if you can't keep up with all of the name changes, you should still be able to find your beetle.

Higher Classification

The higher level classification followed in this checklist follows that of Wood (Wood 1986, Wood and Bright 1992a, Wood and Bright 1992b, Wood 1993). At present, most authors consider the Scolytinae and Platypodinae to be related subfamilies within the Curculionidae (sensu strictu) rather than separate families within the Curculionidea (Jordal 2007, Kuschel 1995, Kuschel et al. 2000, Lyal 1995). Consequently Wood’s families, subfamilies, and tribes are demoted to subfamilies, tribes, and subtribes, respectively.

This is not a long term solution and is done for convenience and congruence with recent taxonomic catalogs (Bright and Skidmore 1997, Bright and Skidmore 2002, Wood and Bright 1992a, Wood and Bright 1992b). This higher level taxonomy of the bark and ambrosia beetles is currently in a state of flux. Recent genetic studies strongly suggest that Wood’s higher level classification will eventually require significant revision (Farrell et al. 2001, Normark et al. 1999, Sequeira et al. 2000).

Bright & Rabaglia (1999) placed Dryoxylon onoharensis (Murayama) in the Dryocoetini. I have placed it in the Xyleborini.

Sources of information

Distribution and host records are summarized from specimens that I personally have seen as well as reliable literature citations (not shown here). The checklists posted on this website are derived from a collection data database which is maintained in File Maker Pro. Sporadically the checklists will be updated.

Reference List

  • Bright, D. E. and R. J. Rabaglia. 1999. Dryoxylon, a new genus for Xyleborus onoharensis Murayama, recently established in the southeastern United States (Coleoptera: Scolytidae). Coleopterists Bulletin 53:333-337.
  • Bright, D. E. and R. E. Skidmore. 1997. A Catalog of Scolytidae and Platypodidae (Coleoptera), Supplement 1 (1990-1994). NRC Research Press, Ottawa, Ontario.
  • Bright, D. E. and R. E. Skidmore. 2002. A Catalog of Scolytidae and Platypodidae (Coleoptera), Supplement 2 (1995-1999). NRC Research Press, Ottawa.
  • Farrell, B. D., A. S. Sequeira, B. C. O'Meara, B. B. Normark, J. H. Chung, and B. H. Jordal. 2001. The evolution of agriculuture in beetles (Curculionidae: Scolytinae and Platypodinae). Evolution 55[10], 2011-2027.
  • Jordal, B. H. 2007. Reconstructing the phylogeny of Scolytinae and close allies: major obstacles and prospects for a solution. USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-45, 3-8.
  • Kuschel, G. 1995. A phylogenetic classification of the Curculionoidea to families and subfamilies. Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Washington 14, 5-33.
  • Kuschel, G., R. A. B. Leschen, and E. C. Zimmerman. 2000. Platypodidae under scrutiny. Invertebrate Taxonomy 14:771-805.
  • Lyal, C. H. C. 1995. The ventral structures of the weevil head (Coleoptera: Curculionoidea). Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Washington 14.
  • Normark, B. B., B. H. Jordal, and B. D. Farrell. 1999. Origin of a haplodiploid beetle lineage. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 266:2253-2259.
  • Sequeira, A. S., B. B. Normark, and B. D. Farrell.2000. Evolutionary assembly of the conifer fauna: Distinguishing ancient from recent associations in bark beetles. Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Series B 267, 2359-2366.
  • Wood, S. L. 1982. The bark and ambrosia beetles of North and Central America (Coleoptera: Scolytidae), a taxonomic monograph. Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs 6:1-1356.
  • Wood, S. L. 1986. A reclassification of the genera of Scolytidae (Coleoptera). Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs 10:1-126.
  • Wood, S. L. 1993. Revision of the genera of Platypodidae (Coleoptera). Great Basin Naturalist 53:259-281.
  • Wood, S. L. and D. E. Bright. 1992a. A catalog of Scolytidae and Platypodidae (Coleoptera), Part 2. Taxonomic Index Volume A. Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs 13:1-833.
  • Wood, S. L. and D. E. Bright. 1992b. A catalog of Scolytidae and Platypodidae (Coleoptera), Part 2. Taxonomic Index Volume B. Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs 13:1-835.

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