Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tree Galleries

It looks like the Pileated Woodpeckers have found something of interest inside this dead Tuliptree. The lower part of the trunk is covered with various sized holes. All of this activity has taken place within the last two weeks.

There definitely seems to have been some insect activity going on inside the trunk of this tree. There was no sign of any of the architects of this treebound labyrinth.

The network of galleries within the dead wood suggests ants. I think it’s remarkable how they can carve out all those tunnels and chambers and still manage to maintain the integrity of the thin walls between the openings.

This bug was in one of the chambers, but it was dead, missing a few legs and didn’t have anything to do with the creation of these chambers. It looked like a species of stink bug and seemed remarkably fresh.

I found this interesting larva in some debris at the base of the tree. It has nothing to do with the creation of the galleries and is presented here only because I found it to be extremely interesting. The wood it was in was from a large limb that probably fell over a year ago.


  1. Nice shots, Steve. It's awfully fun to dig around in trees, isn't it? I agree that you've got ants (probably carpenter ants) creating the chambers, and that definitely looks like a stink bug in that little nook. The caterpillar is certain interesting...I suggest it's one of these: http://bugguide.net/node/view/10292 What do you think?

  2. The pictures look the same and it seems I've seen the adults around here. Dead-wood Borer Moth seems a fitting name for something I found boring around in dead wood. Thanks for the link.