What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Mr. Bugman,
I work at Colorado River State Park. This cute little guy was found over here last evening. We are currently lacking a decent insect field guide, and were hoping that you could help us out. He’s obviously from Order Coleoptera, and makes a distinct screaming noise when threatened.
Thank you much,
Ranger DeBerard

Dear Ranger,
You have a California Prionus beetle, Prionus californicus, a member of the borer beetl group. They are among the largest beetles in the Western US. Though I couldn’t find any information on their noise making habits, I do know for a fact that other borers, including the red and black Milkweed Borer, Tetraopes tetraophthalmus, are capable of squeeking when handled. Here is some information I downloaded from another site: Range: California: coastal and inland valleys, foothills, and mountains to middle elevations. > Alaska, south to Baja
California, and east, into the Rocky Mountains. Hosts: Prevalent in oak, madrone, poplar and apple; also attacks cherry, walnut, chestnut, willow, serviceberry, eucalyptus, pear, almond, peach, plum, quince, alder, hop, some conifers, brambles and certain shrubs. Biology: Adults fly June to September; females may lay up to 600 eggs; lifecycle takes 3-5 years. Importance: Larvae bore into bark at plant bases, and penetrate roots; leaves yellow, then defoliate; bark on larger branches dries and cracks. Plants often die the following season. Serious pest of apples in New Mexico.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
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