Animal Species:Scribbly Gum Moth

Scribbly gums are spectacular Australian eucalypts that get their name from the strange 'scribbles' left behind on their smooth bark. These zigzag tracks are tunnels made by the larvae of the Scribbly Gum Moth and tell a story of the insect's life cycle.

Scribbly gum moth Ogmograptis sp.

David Britton © Australian Museum

Standard Common Name

Scribbly Gum Moth

Number of species

1

Identification

Despite the evidence left behind on scribbly gum trees, living specimens of Scribbly Gum Moth larvae and adults are rarely seen. The adults are very small and grey. Only one species has been formally described, but there are several undescribed species known from collections.

Size range

adult wingspan 9 mm

Distribution

Scribbly Gum Moths are found from south-eastern Queensland to Victoria.

Habitat

Scribbly Gum Moths live in forests and woodlands.

Seasonality

Larvae pupate in November-December, adults are mainly active during April-March

Feeding and Diet

Larvae feed on sapwood

Feeding Habit

herbivore

What does this mean?

Life history modes

terrestrial, volant

What does this mean?

Life cycle

The female scribbly gum moth lays eggs between layers of old and new bark. The larvae burrow into the new bark and, as the old bark falls away, the feeding trails of the larva are revealed. The diameter of the tunnels increase as the larvae grow. When the larvae have reached their maximum size they emerge and crawl out from between the bark and into the litter, or into cracks in the bark, where they form a elongate ridged grey cocoon. Adults emerge in the following autumn, and are attracted to light.

Classification

Genus:
Ogmograptis
Family:
Bucculatricidae
Superfamily:
Tineoidea
Order:
Lepidoptera
Class:
Insecta
Subphylum:
Uniramia
Phylum:
Arthopoda
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?


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Tags moths, insects, arthropods, invertebrates, identification, wildlife of sydney,