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Narrow-leaved Scribbly Gum

Eucalyptus racemosa (syn. E. signata)


This odd-looking tree caught my eye as its trunk and branches were fused together. Upon closer inspection I could see the squiggly marks on the bark, meaning this tree is a Eucalypt species commonly known as a "scribbly gum" (see notes), or more accurately, "narrow-leaved scribbly gum". The zigzag tracks are tunnels made by the larvae of the scribbly gum moth (Ogmograptis scribula) and follow the insect's life cycle. Eggs are laid between layers of old and new bark. The larvae burrow into the new bark and, as the old bark falls away, the trails are revealed. The diameters of the tunnels increase as the larvae grow, and the ends of the tracks are where the larvae stopped to pupate. PS: Eucalyptus racemosa is an important koala food tree, and I have actually seen koalas in this cemetery.


Remnant native bushland along Mimosa Creek, at Mt. Gravatt Cemetery, Brisbane. The cemetery is adjacent to Toohey Forest Conservation Reserve, a woodland reserve of approximately 655 hectares.


Within the Eucalyptus genus there are several species that bear the common name "scribbly gum", but I have nominated E. racemosa simply because it is known to occur in this area, and is the only scribbly gum species mentioned by two trusted local references - Mt. Gravatt species list... and Key to Eucalypts of Greater Brisbane... PS: Re: Synonyms - see Wikipedia reference for a full list of synonyms for this species. Why so many? I have no idea!

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Neil Ross
Neil Ross 3 years ago

Absolutely. There were some massive blue gums on the grounds too. Eucalypts just give off a magic vibe - I love them!!

Single D
Single D 3 years ago

Our Gum trees are pretty special

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on May 25, 2020
Submitted on May 25, 2020

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