First published March 14, 2017.
While splitting some wood, we were pleasantly surprised to find evidence of the Hickory Bark Beetle, Scolytus quadrispinosus, whose larvae bore into hickory trees and digest fungi that grow inside the wood. These images show the beautiful result of their work. The mother beetle excavates a small gallery under the bark and then inserts her eggs in the opening. The hatchling larvae bore away from their mother’s gallery, leaving tracks that gradually widen as they consume the wood. The larvae avoid crossing paths, with the peripheral ones turning away first, inner ones turning away later, and the central ones going straight for longest. Different mothers place their initial galleries far apart so their offspring will not interfere, but alas, there is only so much space under the bark!