Monday, September 28, 2009

Bark Beetle Larva

Posted by Kirk
As promised, a few more photos from the fungus hike. While hiking down the trail we noticed this interesting tree. There seemed to be a sort of powder covering the ground under the tree. You can see it in the photo below. Since we were in fungus mode we began to speculate on a fungal origin to the powder.

Could it be a mold? Many times molds will form a dusty looking power on leaves or the ground. People on the hike were leaning toward that explanation until I took a closer look at the trunk of the tree. I noticed bark beetle holes in the exposed trunk wood. Many of these holes had a fine powder of sawdust sticking out of them. The beetle larva are hard at work gnawing at the tree and leaving behind a super powdery trail of sawdust. It was incredible to see such a covering of dust on the ground from the action of these tiny larva.

So, not a fungus but really cool none the less.