Deciphering the Scribbles
The scribbly gums shed their bark, revealing the new artwork of their tiny lodgers.
The scribbles are the work of a small moth larvae, Ogmograptis scribula.
In April or May, a moth had laid its eggs in the bark, and the larvae live in the bark through winter. They move about just underneath the bark, feeding on the tree’s tissue, which leaves the distinct marks.
In early summer, the larvae have completed their individual artwork on the trunk of their host tree and have come to the surface to pupate.
By autumn, the new moth will hatch from its cocoon, find a mate and start the circle of life all over again.
DID YOU KNOW?
There are at least six distinct species of scribbly gum moth, each with their own distinct signature scribble! You can find these scribbles on more than 20 species of eucalypts.