Beetle burrows on driftwood at Osmington Bay

Patterns in nature: Patterns made by beetle larvae on driftwood at Osmington Bay, Dorset, UK (1)

I saw these curious patterns on a large piece of driftwood washed onto the beach at Osmington Bay. It was partly charred but most noticeable on it were these stripey markings. I thought they had a certain abstract and graphic quality – artistic even.

A closer examination revealed that they were the remains of tunnels created by beetle larvae eating their way along under the bark of the dead tree. Where some bark survived, there were neat bore-holes showing the place that the newly adult insects had emerged.

I am not sure what sort of beetle was responsible for these particular burrows but I’ve read that certain terrestrial Staphylinid Rove Beetles of the Bledus genus rely on sea-soaked timber on the seashore for laying their eggs.

Patterns of beetle larvae tunnels beneath the bark of some driftwood, and emergence holes in the bark, at Osmington Bay, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast (2) 

Patterns of beetle larvae tunnels beneath the bark of driftwood at Osmington Bay, Dorset, UK (3)

Pattern of beetle larvae tunnels beneath the bark of driftwood at Osmington Bay, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast (4)
 
Pattern of beetle larvae tunnels beneath the bark of driftwood at Osmington Bay, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast (5)
 
Driftwood with beetle burrows on the beach at Osmington Bay, Dorset, UK, part of the Jurassic Coast (6) 

Revision of a post first published 19 June 2009

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