Résumé : The bark beetle genus Dendroctonus contains some of the most economically important pests of conifers worldwide. Despite many attempts, there is no agreement today on the phylogenetic relationships within the genus, which limits our understanding of its evolutionary history. Here, using restriction-site associated DNA (RAD) markers from 70 specimens representing 17 species (85% of the known diversity) we inferred the phylogeny of the genus, its time of origin and biogeographic history, as well as the evolution of key ecological traits (host plants, larval behavior and adults’ attack strategies). For all combinations of tested parameters (from 6444 to 23,570 RAD tags analyzed), the same, fully resolved topology was inferred. Our analyses suggest that the most recent common ancestor (mrca) of all extant Dendroctonus species was widely distributed across eastern Palearctic and western Nearctic during the early Miocene, from where species dispersed to other Holarctic regions. A first main inter-continental vicariance event occurred during early Miocene isolating the ancestors of D. armandi in the Palearctic, which was followed by the radiation of the main Dendroctonus lineages in North America. During the Late Miocene, the ancestor of the ‘rufipennis’ species group colonized north-east Palearctic regions from western North America, which was followed by a second main inter-continental vicariance event isolating Pleistocene populations in Asia (D. micans) and western North America (D. murrayanae and D. punctatus). The present study supports previous hypotheses explaining intercontinental range disjunctions across the Northern Hemisphere by the fragmentation of a continuous distribution due to climatic cooling, host range fragmentation and geological changes during the late Cenozoic. The reconstruction of ancestral ecological traits indicates that the mrca bored individual galleries and mass attacked the boles of pines. The gregarious feeding behavior of the larvae as well as the individual attack of the base of trees have apparently independently evolved twice in North America (in the ‘rufipennis’ and the ‘valens’ species groups), which suggests a higher adaptive potential than previously thought and may be of interest for plant protection and biodiversity conservation in a rapidly changing world.