Symptoms of lemon tree borer larvae

Symptoms of lemon tree borer larvae

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: A branch of a lemon tree, Citrus limon, showing the presence of the lemon tree borer, Oemona hirta, a cerambycid longhorn beetle native to New Zealand. The adult lays eggs in crevices or damaged bark on twigs, and the larvae burrow inside living wood, excavating a tunnel with occasional small exit holes (seen here) to enable the expulsion of frass and sawdust. Such mined twigs may swell in size and lose foliage beyond the site of the larva. The larvae in twigs eventually mine towards thicker wood, and their presence there can cause branches to break off completely. The life cycle of the beetle takes at least two years to complete. Oemona hirta is a serious pest of citrus orchards in New Zealand, and has a wide host range (polyphagous). It has occasionally been intercepted in imports of plants to the UK from New Zealand, but is not established in the UK.

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Keywords: biological, biology, botanical, botany, cerambycid, citrus limon, insect pest, lemon tree borer, longhorn beetle, new zealand, oemona hirta, polyphagous, wood borer, zoological, zoology

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