Cypress Bark Beetle (Phloeosinus cupressi)
A common pest in South Australia, usually attacks trees under stress from other causes such as a lack of water or harsh pruning.
Healthy trees have the ability to produce an abundance of pitch or resin to encompass the burrowing beetle at the first time of infestation. Trees under stress, however, often succumb to this pest.
The beetles are dark brown/black approx 2mm long, and larvae is white and approx 3mm long.
Prior to egg laying, the adults attack the upper parts of many varieties of conifers, often hollowing out small twigs and causing them to snap off.
Eggs are laid under the bark and when the larvae hatch they tend to bore at right angles to the egg laying site through the vascular tissue. Pupation occurs at the end of the bored tunnel and the adult chews to the outside of the tree leaving a circular 2mm diameter hole.