The Gottlieb Native Garden

a california love story

The Gottlieb Native Garden is a flourishing ecosystem belonging to Susan and Dan Gottlieb, friends of flora and fauna and devoted environmental philanthropists. With more than 100 hand-selected plant species and hundreds of animal species, the backyard is a National Wildlife Federation-certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat and a Xerces Society-designated Pollinator Habitat.

“Down Under” Emigré

Sometimes a beautiful insect is not a welcome guest in a garden.  This species of Eucalyptus Longhorned Borer was first documented in California in 1995 and is now well established throughout the state; along with non-native plants come non-native insects.  Luckily, this very large beetle is so closely associated with eucalyptus that it is not known to use any other tree species as a host.  But when non-native insects find themselves with no natural predators, they can run rampant. To combat this particular beetle, natural enemies of the borer (Avetianella longoi, a Phoracantha sp. host-specific wasp) were introduced from Australia and have reduced the number of trees this borer kills.  Lets hope these “natural enemies” stick to attacking only Eucalyptus Longhorned Borers…

Eucalyptus Longhorned Borer - Phoracantha recurva