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Timber Moth Caterpillar

Family Xyloryctidae

Description:

I'm not quite sure what to make of this spotting. At first sight I thought it was a fungi, probably a crust variety, and therefore a polypore. Or perhaps even a lichen species. Whatever it was, it was definitely a wood rotter as the bark on the tree has been eaten away. However, upon closer inspection of the photos, the texture looks like very fine sawdust. This could possibly be an insect infestation and the wood hasn't been rotted, but gnawed. In fact, in the second photo, small holes can be seen deeper in the wood. After viewing these images, I'm now inclined to think it's the latter. The surface layer appears to be falling away in 'curtains'. This rules out any possibility of it being a fungi species. Here are a couple of reference links provider by Mark Ridgway (PN Ranger) - http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/854... http://johngrehan.net/index.php/hepialid... It has been suggested that this could be a species of moth larvae, and this is its nest/feeding area.

Habitat:

Native bushland in the Mt. Coot-tha Forest Reserve. Spotted on the Stringybark Track. Area dry and trees native eucalypts. This spotting was actually on the trunk of a native Spotted Gum (Corymbia citriodora).

Notes:

Thanks to Mark Ridgway (PN Ranger) for the spotting ID.

1 Species ID Suggestions



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19 Comments

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 4 years ago

I'll accept that ID, Mark. Thanks. I admire your dedication.

Hema
Hema 4 years ago

So it's not "Terramite" like chief Red Earth said.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 4 years ago

I'm pretty sure this is the work of Xylorictidae moth larvae.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 5 years ago

I kinda like terramites. It has a ring to it :-)

I beg your pardon. I mean termites. :))

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

I think Chief meant termites

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 5 years ago

Terra-ists? Is that a joke, Mark? haha I'll look into Ubuntu. I need someone tech-savvy that can give it to me straight. I've had a pretty good run these past few months, but since I got AV/MW programs, it's all gone to pot! I'm a simple monkey.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

..terramite tree terra-ists?... @Neil free yourself. If it's software problems get Ubuntu on a stick and boot from that. No more virus-trojan-malware problems ever!

Hema
Hema 5 years ago

Endoclita signifer is a new pest on eucalyptus and belongs to the hepialid moths

TERRAMITE? I looks! Any its interesting!

Hema
Hema 5 years ago

or like Mark said
http://nzacfactsheets.landcareresearch.c...
This ones not on a eucalyptus tree though

Hema
Hema 5 years ago

Tunnels formed by longicorn beetle larvae are oval in shape and tightly packed with frass (a mixture of sawdust and faeces).
http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/forestry/forest...

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 5 years ago

That's probably why the sawdust falls away in sheets. My computer is stuffed again, Mark. Only here sporadically until it spits the dummy again.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

It has to be a silk producer which I think rules out beetles and some of the other wood chewers. :).

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 5 years ago

Thanks kd. I can see the holes, so Mark and yourself are absolutely correct. What sort of grub, I have no idea.

kdpicturemaker
kdpicturemaker 5 years ago

I found some recently. If you look under all the sawdust there will be a few small holes bored into the wood of the tree, inside is a larvae in grub form gnawing away, watch the hole and you might see new sawdust being pushed out as the creature carries on with its daily duties.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 5 years ago

You're a good man, Mark. Many thanks.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 5 years ago

This looks to me like the 'curtains' some boring creatures use to hide their homes. (That's boring as in drilling :-) Check the hepialid moths maybe.

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

City of Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Lat: -27.47, Long: 152.95

Spotted on Apr 6, 2014
Submitted on Apr 26, 2014

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