Black beetle found in SE PEnnsylvania
Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 3:35 PM
Can you please help us identify this beetle we found in our gravel driveway in Bucks County, PA? It’s 2″ long from front to back and appears to have wings.
Bucks County, Pennsylvania (SE PA)

Broad Necked Root Borer

Broad Necked Root Borer

Hi Hannah,
Your beetle is a Broad Necked Root Borer, Prionus laticollis.  According to BugGuide:  “Adults eat foliage, sometimes damage fruit trees, grape vines. Life Cycle Eggs are inserted into ground (or under litter) in groups. Larvae tunnel downward to feed on living roots of a variety of trees and shrubs. At first they may feed on bark, but then proceed to hollow out small roots. Pupation occurs in spring, about 10 cm under the ground. Life cycle probably three years. “

6 Responses to Broad Necked Root Borer

  1. anna says:

    are they posinous?

  2. anna says:

    this beetle is HUGE!!!

  3. Sherri says:

    I just spotted one of these while driving out to a pet sitting job. It was big enough to see from the car! I stopped to check it out and helped the big bug over a stone wall. Very interesting! I’ve never seen one this big before. It was at least two inches long.
    I’m glad you have some good photos here. It was hard to find out what this bug was.
    Thank you!

  4. Dorrina E Martini says:

    I think I saw one of these today on my garbage can. This thing is huge! Do they bite? I have kids.

    • Yes. My kids just found one. I picked it up, put it in the palm of my hand, and kazowee! It bit the heck out of me. It didn’t really hurt, but it would probably hurt if it bit a kid with tender skin.

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