Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Photo by Ned Harris 12/30/2012

Photo by Ned Harris 1/2/2013

You've probably noticed mesquite branches whose leaves look brown and dead, like the leaves on the right in the top photo. Next time you're out and about, look for the tell-tale ring that is evidence for a Mesquite Girdler Beetle (NOT a Giant Mesquite Bug). The female girdler beetle chews a ring through the bark and the 'pipes' (vascular tissue) of the branch. She then lays her eggs 'down stream' of the ring, in tiny scratches (note 4 scratches in the photos above). Chewing through the 'pipes,' means that sap won't wash away her eggs. Instead, sap will pool up at the ring. (See this post.)

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