The mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae Hopkins (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), outbreak in British Columbia and Alberta, Canada, currently extends over 18.3 million ha of pine forest. The principal host of the insect is lodgepole pine, Pinus contorta var. latifolia Englemann (Pineaceae) although it is a generalist herbivore on pines. Mountain pine beetles do not typically colonise spruce. However, during the current outbreak, several instances of mountain pine beetle attack on interior hybrid spruce, Picea glauca (Moench) Voss×Picea engelmannii Parry ex. Engelmann (Pinaceae) have been noted in areas where severe lodgepole pine mortality has occurred. Occasionally, beetle reproduction within spruce has been successful. Reproductive behaviours of mountain pine beetles reared from pine and spruce, such as female host acceptance and male joining behaviour, were studied on bolts of pine and spruce in laboratory bioassays. Females more readily accepted spruce host material relative to pine. Females that developed in spruce had higher rates of host acceptance of both pine and spruce host material than females that had developed in pine. We interpret these latter results with caution, however, as inference is partially restricted by sourcing viable insects from one spruce in this study. Implications of these findings to the concepts of host adaptation and population dynamics of this eruptive herbivore are discussed.