Upis ceramboides

Upis ceramboides is a species of beetle, one of many wood-living insects that benefit from forest fires. It often occurs in quantities below the bark on the fire-damaged birches, but can sometimes be seen on other deciduous trees such as willow and aspen. The larvae thrive in the inner bark which is rich in mycelia, and in the sapwood. They develop into pupae during the summer months under the bark, and they develop over two or three years. The following spring they reproduce themselves.

Upis ceramboides
Upis ceramboides.jpg
Scientific classification
U. ceramboides
Binomial name
Upis ceramboides

It has over the years have disappeared from southern Sweden and is now only locally in the Norrland coast (Västerbotten and Norrbotten) as well as Canada and Alaska.[1] The reason for the species' decline is probably the lack of fire-damaged forests and birch, and the modern forestry practices. Upis ceramboides is considered "vulnerable" in terms of species survival. In Vindeln municipality it is called köksskörven, because it occurs indoors when burning firewood in winter.[2][3][4]

The species' survival at temperatures well below freezing are attributed to the xylomannan non-protein antifreeze molecule (polysaccharide and a fatty acid)[5][6][7] as well as the sugar-alcohol, threitol.[8]

Other notable freeze-tolerant animals include the fly Polypedilum vanderplanki and the beetle Cucujus clavipes puniceus.[1]


  1. ^ a b Ned Rozell (Oct 2007). "Alaska beetles survive 'unearthly' temperatures".
  2. ^ "Sweden Entomological Society - Large black beetle". Archived from the original on 2010-04-03. Retrieved 2012-01-26.
  3. ^ "Darkling Beetle - Upis ceramboides, Canada".
  4. ^ "Images of Upis ceramboides".
  5. ^ Ishiwata A, Sakurai A, Nishimiya Y, Tsuda S, Ito Y (2011). "Synthetic study and structural analysis of the antifreeze agent xylomannan from Upis ceramboides". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 133 (48): 19524–19535. doi:10.1021/ja208528c. PMID 22029271.
  6. ^ Crich D, Rahaman MY (2011). "Synthesis and structural verification of the xylomannan antifreeze substance from the freeze-tolerant Alaskan beetle Upis ceramboides". Journal of Organic Chemistry. 76 (21): 8611–8620. doi:10.1021/jo201780e. PMC 3204896. PMID 21955117.
  7. ^ Walters KR Jr; Serianni AS; Sformo T; Barnes BM; Duman JG (2009). "A nonprotein thermal hysteresis-producing xylomannan antifreeze in the freeze-tolerant Alaskan beetle Upis ceramboides". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106 (48): 20210–20215. doi:10.1073/pnas.0909872106. PMC 2787118. PMID 19934038.
  8. ^ Walters KR Jr; Pan Q; Serianni AS; Duman JG (2009). "Cryoprotectant biosynthesis and the selective accumulation of threitol in the freeze-tolerant Alaskan beetle, Upis ceramboides". Journal of Biological Chemistry. 284 (25): 16822–16831. doi:10.1074/jbc.M109.013870. PMC 2719318. PMID 19403530.