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.
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.
Scribbly Gum Moths live in forests and woodlands.
Scribbly Gum Moths are found from south-eastern Queensland to Victoria.
Larvae pupate in November-December, adults are mainly active during April-March
Feeding and diet
Larvae feed on sapwood
Life history 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.