Bug ID from burrowing pattern
January 16, 2010
I was walking through a wetland forest near Brockville, Ontario when I happened upon an interesting dead tree. The pattern left behind after the bark had fallen off was quite impressive. There were no clues as to what insect made this pattern. Is there anyway to determine the identity of the bug that makes this type of pattern without having to catch it first?
Claire B
Brockville, Ontario Canada

Engraver Beetle Galleries

Hi Claire,
These are most probably the galleries of a Wood Boring Beetle, though we are uncertain if they are from the family Cerambycidae or Buprestidae.  A species identification is nearly impossible.  We will see if Eric Eaton has an opinion on this.

Engraver Beetle Galleries

Eric Eaton provides some information
Hi, Daniel:
The galleries etched in the trunk of the dead tree are the work of “engraver” beetles of some kind, family Curculionidae, subfamily Scolytidae.  The central, vertical passage is the “egg gallery” bored by the female as she laid eggs along each side.  The perpendicular tunnels are the result of the larvae boring through the wood before pupating at the end of each tunnel and emerging through the bark at the end of their life cycle.  Knowing the host tree would be helpful in determining which species of beetle this represents.

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