While much remains uncertain, one thing we're sure of is that wood borer, belonging to the genus Phoracantha are responsible for the scars present on affected trees.
Phoracantha are better known as longicorn, or long-horned, beetles. There are around 40 species of Phoracantha is Australia. While they all consume timber, Phoracantha species vary in their preferred hosts - some attack only dead and dying trees, other attack apparently health individuals. Lifespans also differ between species - some live for only a few months as larvae (grubs) in the stem, others live up to three years before morphing into an adult. With so much variation in the genus, identifying the species responsible is critically important.
To shed light on the identity we began testing funnel-trapping techniques in February 2020. Treated with fluon to prevent insects escaping and fitted with a wide basal collar, these traps will be the basis of planned trapping regimes