What is a treehole?

A treehole is a cavity in a tree sometimes created by a branch falling off and leaving behind a hole. These holes then collect rainwater, making them ideal spots for insects with aquatic larvae to lay their eggs. Some of these insects include mosquitoes, scirtid beetles, and biting midges. Treeholes are great for the study of ecology because of their small size and definite boundaries. Many people studying treeholes are interested in medical entomology, because mosquitoes that breed in container habitats, like treeholes, may be vectors for disease. Because the treehole community is based on the leaves that fall into them, these communities are often called detritus-based communities. Here are three pictures taken of treeholes on the Davidson College Ecological Preserve.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DEB - 0315208. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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Updated by Chris Paradise May 18, 2004