Long antennae beetle found in So. California
Seems a lot smarter than cockroaches and a lot slower. Can fly very well and seemed to make a quiet hissing noise when we first moved the grass around him. After the pursuit began, he went silent and we almost lost him as a result. He was found on the grass near some wood from a eucalyptus we had just cut down.
Carlsbad California 3.5 miles East of the Ocean
It has been many years since we have received an image of a Eucalyptus Borer, Phoracantha recurva or Phoracantha semipunctata. According to BugGuide, there are two species, both introduced from Australia. Our edition of Charles Hogue’s Insects of the Los Angeles Basin was printed in 1993 and only mentions Phoracantha semipunctata, and indicates it was introduced “to Southern California, probably in 1982.” Hogue also writes: “Until this borer came on the scene, its host, eucalyptus, had been virtually free of major pests since its own arrival here after the 1860s. It is uncertain, however, how serious a threat the Eucalyptus Long-horn Borer poses, because the beetles probably only attack trees weakened by lack of moisture, disease, or other stresses. they also infest freshly cut wood. Damage by larvae is characteristic and may be extensive because of their large size (length up to 1 1/2 in., or 40 mm). They form deep broad galleries under the bark and, as they reach maturity, they girdle the tree and may kill it.” Because it is an introduced species that has spread in California, we are going to include this Eucalyptus Borer in the Invasive Exotics section of our site, but since the beetle feeds on an introduced tree species, it really doesn’t pose as much of a threat to the native California ecosystem.