Lemon Tree Borer
New Zealand Status: Native
Conservation Status: Pest Species
Oemona hirta is a common longhorn beetle that can be found throughout New Zealand. Contrary to its common name, Lemon Tree Borer, Oemona hirta is not just restricted to citrus trees. It is known to thrive on over 40 different species of native and introduced trees. The adult beetle feeds mainly on pollen and nectar, and lays its eggs on the outside of branches.
Damage to trees occurs because the larvae hatch from the eggs and bore long tunnels into the woody tissues (both sapwood and hardwood) with side tunnels leading to holes through which frass that looks like fine sawdust is ejected. The end result of infestation is wilting and dying of twigs and branches, as well as die-back in tree crowns.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader