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Goat Moth and Ferdinandea ruficornis

 
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conopid



Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 2:42 pm    Post subject: Goat Moth and Ferdinandea ruficornis Reply with quote

On Tuesday evening I took a large Ferdindea ruficornis from an oak I am watching. The oak has at least 15 separate sap runs. It is not obvious why the tree is "bleeding" in this way, so I wondered if Goat Moth might be the cause of these sap runs. Is damage by goat moth possible to determine through any visual signs?

The same tree has two sap runs low down on the tree thoroughly infested with larvae of Ferdinandea spp and what may be small Brachyopa (they are too small to be sure as yet, but are clearly not Ferdinadea). Some photos are at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/insectman/sets/72157605192588556/

The same tree has also yielded two Brachyopa bicolor adults.

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Nigel Jones
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Shropshire
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Roger K.A. Morris



Joined: 06 Nov 2005
Posts: 1583

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Nigel

I'd expect to see some pretty big holes in the tree! Looks like quite a few beetle larvae too

Nice find

Roger
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conopid



Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Visited the sap-tree today and some three days after my last visit, ALL the larvae have gone! I assume some lucky bird chicks have been well fed. There was a small patch of froth left, which I poked around in, but I could find no larvae at all.

I am hoping for a re-infestation of the sap. On the plus side nearby woodland provided Criorhina asilica and C berberina (2), plus Xylophager ater and a big tabanid - Hybomitra (probably H bimaculata). Not a bad afternoon out.

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Nigel Jones
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Shropshire
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John O'Sullivan



Joined: 05 Oct 2005
Posts: 128
Location: Sandy, Bedfordshire, UK

PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the excellent and instructive pictures, Nigel. Sorry that the larvae have been raided; they did look decidedly vulnerable to birds.

No smell of goat, I gather. But is it always obvious? Perhaps we have a lepidopterist reader who knows.

Good luck for some more activity around the tree - but it sounds like it's done you proud already!

John
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Tony White



Joined: 12 Mar 2006
Posts: 61
Location: Byfield, Northants

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To find Goat Moth at all here in Northants would be pleasing; in recent years it has become decidedly scarce. I've always associated it with poplars but it has been recorded from oak (and other deciduous trees). The larva should have a distinctive goat smell of course and my understanding is that its pretty obvious but does it linger around the hole?
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conopid



Joined: 03 Sep 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Shrewsbury, Shropshire

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update 2 June:
No sign of any large exit holes of Goat Moth, but today the tree was positively oozing sap. It was bubbling out of the bark, through thin cracks, with a wheezing and squeaking sound! I am really intrigued to find out why this tree is oozing so much sap.

A couple of Brachyopas were present and some other species, too far up the tree to catch or see properly. A few very small larvae were present and a couple of hornets were paying close attention to sap runs higher up the tree - perhaps they are the culprits that have taken all the larvae?

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Nigel Jones
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