Melanophila drummondi (Buprestidae)

flatheaded fir borer


Melanophila drummondi, the flatheaded fir borer, pinned adults. Typical buprestid shape, bronzy black in colour, usually with 3 small yellow spots on each wing cover.


Legless, flattened grub having distinctly widened thorax with sclerotized plates top and bottom. White colour.


Usually invade previously weakened trees. Adult lays eggs in crevices in the bark, but do not enter the tree themselves. Each larva carves its own tunnel, there is no central cavity. Larvae destroys the cambial surface, but do not carry stains as bark beetles do. These larvae may be competitive with bark beetles. Mostly it attacks injured, mistletoe infected, dying, fire-killed and recently felled trees but sometimes it attacks and kills apparently healthy trees, especially on dry sites. Grubholes are flattened oval shape and adult exit holes are elliptical.

Principal Hosts:

Douglas-fir, Abies and Picea species, western hemlock and western larch.

Economic Importance:

The Buprestidae family is the most destructive of the wood-boring group.

References and Links:

EAG: 533; FC: 263-264.

Additional Images:

lateral view of adult